Rev. Theodore R. Williams Jr. retires as pastor of St. Mark’s UMC Gulfport on Sunday

The Rev. Theodore R. Williams Jr., pastor of the historical St. Mark United Methodist Church, 3350 28th Street, Gulfport, is retiring with his last service Sunday.

He grew up in St. Mark UMC, having joined in 1950, became a pastor, led a few churches, retired, then came out of retirement to pastor St. Mark UMC, and is now, again, going back into retirement.

“I feel a sense of loyalty and honor when I reflect on the early years of St. Mark (when located at the original address in the ‘Quarters’),” Williams said at the church’s anniversary in 2016. “Growing up, under the leadership of such giants in the ministry as those listed in the history of the church, has certainly had an upward effect on my life.

“I was able to witness the great dedication and devotion of those before us. I now take great pleasure in serving as your pastor, in that same like spirit; of dedication and devotion.”

Williams also is the owner/director of the Lockett-Williams Mortuary, and he is the father of District 119 State Rep. Sonya Williams Barnes.

A special reception will follow Sunday’s 11 a.m. worship service about 12:45 p.m.