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Rev. Tammy Renee Williams, Ph. D.

June 18, 1962 August 5, 2018
Rev. Tammy Renee   Williams, Ph. D.
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Obituary for Rev. Tammy Renee Williams, Ph. D.

Rev. Tammy Renee Williams, Ph.D. was born on June 18, 1962 to Alexander and Mildred Williams of Roselle Park, New Jersey. She graduated from Roselle Park High School and, later received her B. S. in Foreign Service at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Tammy was a lifelong learner and traveler and was a certified bilingual in Spanish. Her love of culture led her to travel in Latin America, Europe and Africa.

Tammy accepted her call to ministry and left Washington, DC to attend Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She earned her Master in Divinity from Fuller in June 1995. While at Fuller, Tammy was awarded the Parish Pulpit Fellowship. As a result, Tammy preached in various denominational churches in London and Birmingham, England, including Westminster Abbey, and in Anglican churches and evangelical seminaries in Natal Province, South Africa. She presented guest lectures on preaching in academic institutions in England such as Cambridge University and University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. She also consulted and interacted with various ecumenical and para-church organizations in both countries that ministered in the areas of AIDS, racial reconciliation, and violence prevention.

She went on to pursue her Ph.D. in Theology, supervised by her mentor Dr. Miroslav Volf. The title of her dissertation was “Proclaiming the Lord’s Death Until He Comes: Toward a Theology of the Lord’s Supper.” Tammy later moved to Connecticut and was in residence at Yale Divinity School, January 2001 - May 2003 while writing her dissertation under the supervision of mentor. During this time, Tammy won several awards:
• Dissertation Fellowship - The Louisville Institute
• Doctoral Fellowship - The Fund for Theological Education
• Full Fellowship - Center for Advanced Theological Studies, Fuller Theological

After earning her Ph.D. in Theology, Tammy became a Lecturing Fellow in Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School. In July of 2006, Tammy became Assistant Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at the Duke Divinity School. When reflecting on her time at Duke, Tammy would proudly say, "the courses that I have taught reflect my research and teaching interests in Christian beliefs and practices, the Lord’s Supper in the Baptist tradition, and my conviction that theology courses should anchor students in the rigorous work of ministry in and beyond the church": Her courses were:
• The Social Significance of the Lord’s Supper
• The Significance of Memory: Theological and Ecclesial Perspectives
• Suffering, Evil, and Redemption in the Black Church Tradition

After leaving Duke in 2010, Tammy came back to Roselle Park and became active in several local churches. For a year, she assisted her mother Pastor Mildred Williams at First Baptist Church of Kenilworth spearheading the Church's Christian Education.

She then went to work with Pastor Diane Brown at First Baptist Church of Elizabeth. While there, Tammy led the church's anti-violence initiative from 2013 through 2017. In March of 2013 in response to the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting in Connecticut, Tammy facilitated a congregational conversation with the Mayors of Roselle and Roselle Park, NJ, as representatives of “Mayors against Illegal Guns,” regarding proposed gun legislation. In December 2013, Tammy organized a presentation on dating and domestic violence for church members led by a YWCA representative. Then in June 2014, Tammy organized a conference on "Preventing and Ending Violence among Youth" at Liberty Hall at Kean University. Dr. Williams was awarded a Louisville Institute Pastoral Study Grant for 2016 - 2017. The stipend supported the "Pursuing Peacemaking in the Midst of Violence" project. All the while, Tammy was also faithful in working and getting other volunteers to work in "Operation Warm Heart" a community effort to feed the homeless.

In 2018, Tammy again looked to stretch her wings and joined the Fountain Baptist Church in Summit, NJ under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. J. Michael Sanders. In all of these stops, Tammy would say, "My aim in ministry is to help congregations live out what they confess on Sundays in the context of everyday life, by practicing justice and engaging in hospitality, so that they might fully participate in God's costly work of transforming the world that God created and loves."

In addition to her community involvement, Tammy actively engaged her family and was a doting "auntie" to her nieces and nephews. She prayed for their spiritual growth and rejoiced in their educational and personal achievements. Tammy transitioned this life far too soon but she left a mighty impact wherever she's been. Tammy was predeceased by her father, Rev. Alexander Williams and leaves behind her mother, Rev. Mildred Williams; two brothers: Deacon Timothy Williams and Rev. Thomas Williams (Dorothy); a proud aunt of three nieces and two nephews, and the godmother of two. Her nieces and nephews are Alexia, Domonique, Kelsey, Justin and Caleb.

Fitting her sojourn like her favorite Andre Crouch song, "You can't change it, can't rearrange it, God has spoken, Let the whole church say, 'Amen'."


In lieu of flowers, please donate to: Friends of Patients at the NIH, PO Box 34139, Bethesda, MD 20827.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

17

Aug

10:00 AM 8/17/2018 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 8/17/2018 11:00:00 AM
First Baptist Church

402 Union Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07208

First Baptist Church
402 Union Avenue Elizabeth 07208 NJ
United States

Service

Friday

17

Aug

11:00 AM 8/17/2018 11:00:00 AM
First Baptist Church

402 Union Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07208

First Baptist Church
402 Union Avenue Elizabeth 07208 NJ
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Graceland Memorial Park Final Resting Place

1900 Galloping Hill Road
Kenilworth, NJ 07033

1900 Galloping Hill Road Kenilworth 07033 NJ
United States
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