Written by Tanya Terry
Tracie Williams, Pastor Andre Williams Sr.’s wife and First Lady of Greater Galilee Baptist Church, was hit by surprise when her husband died at age 46.
“I knew he had cancer, but I just had faith, and I believed that things would get better,” Tracie Williams told the Courier.
“It was only this past December, on my birthday, that we got the call that he would probably only have two to three months to live,” she added. “I didn’t want to believe it at all. Even after they placed him in hospice, I still was holding onto my faith that he would pull through.”
Pastor Andre Williams Sr. was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in August of 2020.
It’s been rough for Tracie Williams since losing such a great companion. Tracie Williams and the couple’s children, are, however, trying to take things day by day.
For the Greater Galilee congregation, it’s been difficult to lose a great leader and teacher.
Tracie Williams doesn’t believe her husband would want any of them to be in misery. Pastor Williams was a different type of person.
Pastor Andre Williams Sr. died on Feb. 5, and his funeral was held Feb. 18. In addition to the praise and worship being incredible at the funeral service, similar sentiments were echoed concerning Williams and his character by everyone who spoke there. The speakers included Howard Walker, Rev. Terrance Watson, Pastor Alfred Harris Sr., Rev. Dr. Anthony D. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Daniel Moore.
“Everyone who spoke and knew him knew he had strong faith, and that’s what I always stand on,” stated Tracie Williams.
Pastor Andre Williams Sr. and Tracie Williams were married for 14 years.
“I came the last year that he was in the military.”
During the time, Pastor Andre Williams Sr. was serving in the United States Army. Previously to that, he had been honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps after serving a tour of duty.
It was during his time in the Army that Pastor Andre Williams surrendered to the Call of God on his life. He was licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ on March 21, 2004, after uniting with the Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church of Muskegon Heights. He was ordained on October 13, 2005.
After serving as executive pastor of the Prayer Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Redford, Michigan, Reverend Andre Williams Sr. relocated his family to Flint in August 2012. He began serving as an associate of the Greater Galilee Baptist Church after being united with the church in October 2015. In January 2016, he began overseeing the pulpit duties of GGBC. He was voted interim pastor in Mary of 2016, and in April of 2017, Pastor Andre Williams Sr. was installed as the senior pastor of the church.
Pastor Sean Payne of Galilean Baptist Church was a best friend of Pastor Andre Williams Sr. They knew each other for seven years.
“I met him when he became pastor at Greater Galilee,” Payne explained. “I ended up calling him to welcome him to the city, and we just hit it off from that moment on. We got close, and really he was like a brother to me.”
Payne remembers his friend’s smile and kind-hearted spirit.
“He was always willing to help everybody,” said Payne. “To know him was to love him. He treated everybody the same no matter who he came in contact with. There was never a stranger. He was very, very loved by his family and church family. His church family is still grieving because he really loved them and spent time with them.”
Payne said at his church they’ve been having revival.
“Now, when we do something, we always say hashtag Team Williams, just to keep his name and honor out there,” Payne said. “I’m currently preaching over at his church for the next couple Sundays to help his church out.”
Tracie Williams’ best memory of her husband was when he surprised her in Tennessee this past summer with a wedding renewal.
At a final family meeting, Pastor Andre Williams encouraged his children to be the best they could be.
Pastor Andre Williams Sr. and Tracie Williams have seven children, ranging from age 11 to their 30s. The children’s names are Deanthony Stout, Daniel Stout, Devon Williams, Dkhari Williams, Andre Williams Jr., Donell Seward Jr. and Brittany Watson. According to Tracie Williams, the children are encouraged to “live right” like their father did so they can one day see him in heaven.