The legendary longtime pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, the Rev. Cecil Williams, now retired, is being honored for his 45 years of ministry with a series of events this fall.
Williams transferred from Kansas City, Missouri to the California-Nevada Annual Conference to serve at Glide in 1964, and remained there until his retirement in 2000.
On Sunday, November 8 Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., who serves the San Francisco Episcopal Area and is Resident Bishop of the Cal-Nevada Conference, will take part in the 45th anniversary celebration of Williams' ministry. Bishop Brown will preach at the 9 a.m. service at Glide Memorial UMC.
(At the 11 o'clock service, the guest preacher will be the Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery of the Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights in Atlanta.)
On Thursday, November 12 renowned poet Dr. Maya Angelou and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein will be honorary co-chairs for the church's annual holiday festival, From the 'Hood to the House, this year honoring Williams. "In collaboration with the San Francisco Opera," reads San Francisco Opera Magazine (Vol. 87, No. 2, October 2009, published by Encore Media Group), "From the 'Hood to the House is an evening of music, dance, and spoken word" that will benefit "Mo's Kitchen" and programs at Glide.
The festival will take place at the War Memorial Opera House and will feature "special appearances by Dr. Angelou, San Francisco Opera's Adler Fellows, the Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and the world renowned Glide Ensemble Choir and Change Band," among others.
The concert will begin at 7 p.m. and be followed by a reception.
"Since 1964, Rev. Williams has challenged and raised the limits of spirituality, compassion, and diversity," reads the SFO's magazine. "As minister, author, community leader, and spokesperson for the poor and marginalized, he is respected and recognized as a national leader on the forefront of social change."
Contact the Opera Box Office at 415.864.3330 for tickets to the holiday festival.