The Rev. Dr. C. David Williams, dean and rector of Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral in Newark, New Jersey, was elected the 16th president of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) at their 39th annual meeting and conference held July 2-6 in Houston, Texas.
"As the new president of UBE, I bring an understanding of what it is we are and what it is we hope to accomplish as people of color in the Episcopal Church,” said Williams. “The one thing that I hope we can accomplish is true and abiding partnership with the Episcopal Church in the United States."
He said that UBE should not be an afterthought "to participate in any facet of the life of the Episcopal Church."
Williams succeeds the Rev. Nelson Pinder, a retired priest from Florida, who while at the helm of UBE increased overall membership, added chapters and began a partnership with the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) enabling them to assist and empower UBE to develop financial, informational and leadership resources for its mission and ministry. The partnership is reciprocal in that UBE assists ECF in connecting with multicultural Episcopal congregations and in developing leadership resource tools.
The UBE stands in the continuing tradition of more than 200 years of Black leadership in the Episcopal Church. Comprised of more than 54 chapters and interest groups throughout the continental United States and the Caribbean and members in Africa, Canada and Latin America, UBE works to be a force against racism within the Episcopal Church and society and encourages the involvement of Black people in the total life of the church.
"I would hope that as a minority group of long standing in this country, that the folks who are in power would understand that they have a good trend in Afro-Americans and Caribbean West Indian people who are part and parcel of the UBE and this church," Williams said. "We need to show that to the rest of the world and I think it will bring a strength to this church that has not been seen in a long time."
The ministry of UBE includes: evangelism, communication, advocacy, referrals, representation, lobbying, resources, and youth leadership development.