The Rev. Reuel B. Williams, assistant pastor of Praise Tabernacle in Jamaica, Queens, passed away at his home in Queens on Saturday, March 3, following complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, said his wife of 26 years, Mozelle E. Williams. He was 83.
Williams’ formal education began in the New York City public school system in Harlem. He attended Cooper Junior High and Rice High School and went on to Queensboro Community College.
Following seven years of service in the United States Air Force, he worked for the NYC Transit Authority. Then, for 11 years, he served as assistant manager of the Rochdale Village Management Office.
A respected businessman and natural leader, Williams continued his education at several business schools, including the Wilfred Beauty Academy in Jamaica. Upon graduation, he worked for the Alberto-Culver Company, where, for 18 years, he traveled throughout the United States and the Caribbean teaching classes and seminars on the use of the popular line of hair care products for women of color.
With his cousin Kenneth Williams, he founded and operated the Sir Gemini Hair Salon in Rochdale Village for nearly a decade.
Born into a devoutly religious family, Williams was baptized at an early age at Bethel Gospel Assembly. He attended Manhattan Bible Institute and Bethel Bible Institute. He answered God’s call to the ministry and graduated from the Virginia Seminary in 1988.
Upon being ordained, he became a minister at Amity Baptist Church in Jamaica. He moved on to the Joyful Heart Baptist Church in Hempstead, N.Y., before his ministry led him to Praise Tabernacle back in Jamaica, where he was installed as assistant pastor. He served there for the past 18 years under the leadership of Dr. Caesar R. Cabiness.
In addition to his role as assistant pastor, Williams was vice president of the Te’Hillah School of Urban Ministry, coordinator of the Couples Fellowship Ministry, minister of building operations, overseer of the deaconate board and a member of the Praise Tabernacle Gospel Chorus.
Williams was born Dec. 7, 1928, to Wesley B. Williams and Venus Isles Williams in Harlem. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife; sons Derek, Melvin Erroll, Wendell and Reuel Jr.; daughters Stacey Bobb and Tanika Taliaferro.
Services for Williams were held March 8 at Praise Tabernacle.