Monday evening, the Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc. installed Reverend Bettye Holland Williams as their ninth president. Williams becomes the first female president in the organization’s history.

“I used to make a statement that James Brown used to say: ‘It’s a man’s world. But it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman in the world,’” Williams said as she began her speech.

Reverend Williams is currently a member of the Hunter Hill Baptist Church and serves as the coordinator of the ministerial team. Previously, Williams has served as the Vice-President of the Women’s Division of the Concerned Black Clergy of Metro Atlanta. Williams was licensed to preach in 1995. Her husband, Oree Williams is also a member of Hunter Hill Baptist Church.

“We are called to represent the poor, the destitute, the broke and the busted,” said Reverend Shirley Caesar in a taped message. “I am excited that they would reach back and get the first black female to become president. God will take you to higher heights and deeper depths.”

Judge Glenda Hatchett administered the oath to Reverend Williams.

“36 years ago, the concerned members of the clergy would meet and discuss pray every week over the missing children around Atlanta. After the perpetrator was apprehended, the meetings expanded to include concerned members of the community,” Williams explained.

The mission of the Concerned Black Clergy is to provide leadership, advocacy and service to the helpless in the community. Last year, the Concerned Black Clergy advocated for the re-opening of seven polling locations that were to be closed by former Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp that were in predominantly Black precincts in Randolph County, Georgia.

“It begins with me, at the forefront of this organization. We’ve moved from Stacy Adams, to stiletto pumps.”

In her speech, Williams highlighted black women that were the first in their first in their fields. She said she is among the greatest.

“I am among the greatest among the first black women that serve in different ways. And when you’re the first of anything, the bar seems higher and harder to reach. So you rely on what you already have. For me, it’s the spirit of God. If this were a preaching moment, I would say the Spirit of the Lord is upon me. Jesus said, whoever serves me, I will honor.”

(Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen)

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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