NASHVILLE, Tennessee – (TN Tribune) – Historic Spruce Street Baptist Church is pleased to announce and welcome the Reverend Eric D. Williams as its 13th pastor and will celebrate with an Installation Worship Service on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2:30 p.m. at 504 Spruce Street in Nashville. Williams brings with him a sense of the congregation’s spiritual and historic significance building on the theme, “Historical Church for Contemporary Times.”
As leader of Spruce Street, the Rev. Williams will be responsible for nurturing the spiritual life of the church and community. With more than 20 years of ministry experience, the Mississippi-native is a graduate of Prentiss High School in Prentiss, Mississippi; Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi; and The Interdenominational Theological Center/Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to being elected to serve as pastor for Spruce Street, Williams served Farish Street Baptist Church as assistant to pastor, Dr. Hickman M. Johnson, in Jackson, Mississippi. Williams is also the former pastor of Greater Pleasant View Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee.
“I am blessed to have this opportunity to serve as pastor of Nashville’s Mother Church of African-American churches, and to lead this dynamic ministry in such a time as this,” said the Rev. Williams. “I know God is going to continue doing new and remarkable things through our church.”
Williams is an active participant in the local, state, and national work of the National Baptist, and has served as President of the Stones River District Association Congress of Christian Education, First Vice Moderator of the Stones River District Association. He currently serves as the President of the Tennessee Baptist Missionary and Education Convention Congress of Christian Education, and administrator for the Department of Church Ministry in the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education. Williams is employed at the Sunday School Publishing Board as the Senior Director of the Division of Christian Education Accreditation and Credentials.
Spruce Street’s Installation Service will be a spirit-filled afternoon with prayers of blessings, moving musical selections, words of encouragement, and a charge to the pastor and congregation. The church will maintain its practice of administering temperature checks, enforcing social distancing practices, and requiring the wearing of masks while seated in the sanctuary to ensure the safety and comfort of those who attend.
Spruce Street Baptist Church, Nashville’s oldest African-American church, has been highly involved in the community establishing outreach efforts that include the Spruce Street Community Development Corporation, a non-profit established in 2000 that addresses the social, educational, and economic needs of families through summer and after-school academic and youth enrichment programs, and family development services. Additionally, the church established Spruce Street Golden Manor, a residential facility for low-income seniors; and the Spruce Street House of Hope, which provides independent living for persons with physical disabilities.