Life Of Alonzo Williams
When reflecting upon the work of evangelizing in West Tennessee, many names come to mind as placing an indelible mark upon the pages of history. Preachers and educators like John R. Williams, N.B. Hardeman and A.G. Freed are among the early and greats of yesteryear. Influenced by these men himself, Alonzo Williams reflected the wisdom and evangelist fervor of those who preceded him; thus making an impact on those who would follow.
Alonzo Williams was born in Wingo, Kentucky, October 2, 1899. He was raised in a Christian home having been influenced greatly to know and accept Christ as Lord. In June, 1914 he was buried with Christ in baptism by Brother T.B. Thompson. A year later he preached his first sermon at Clarksburg, Tennessee.
The field of education was to be the course of provision for his life, and he set himself to the tasks of preparation in a proficient and committed way. He grew up in Wingo, attending High School there. After High School graduation he attended David Lipscomb College in Nashville, Tennessee, and received his A.A. Degree. He then moved to Abilene, Texas and attended Abilene Christian College where he completed his B.A. Degree. Moving back to Tennessee he attended George Peabody college where he completed requirements for the M.A. Then he received his L.L.B. at Cumberland University Law School. In later years he received an honorary doctorate degree from Morehead State University. He taught high school, even serving as principal.
He married the former Mary Sue Campbell of Dresden, Tennessee on August 9, 1924. She, two, received a college education, and was a school teacher in the school where her husband taught. Together they helped to educate hundreds and hundreds of young people over the years.
One young man who was particularly influenced by Alonzo was a student by the name of Adron Doran. Williams was his basketball coach as well as teacher, and his preacher. It was Williams who encouraged the young Doran to begin his college studies at Freed-Hardeman College. Later Doran would serve as a great gospel preacher and president of Morehead State University.
Alonzo Williams preached locally through the years for churches in West Tennessee. He served the church in Martin, Tennessee from 1927-1929; the church in Tyler, Texas from 1938-1940; and the Murrell Boulevard church of Christ in Paducah, Kentucky from 1940-1952. He preached regularly in gospel meetings and lectureships. He taught weekly lessons on the radio, for a time while in the Texas city of Tyler on WPAD, then while in Paducah, Kentucky on WKYB. He was greatly loved by all who knew him in the area around his home. Alonzo spent the last years of his life in Dresden, Tennessee. He lived to see the ripe old age of 94. He passed from this life on July 31, 1994. His remains were planted in the Sunset Cemetery to await the coming of the Lord.
-Scott Harp, Sources for this material back issues of the World Evangelist and Preachers of Today, Vol. I. Photo of Williams above from P.O.T. v.1 p.371
Directions To The Grave Of Alonzo Williams
In West Tennessee take I-40 to Exit 108, Hwy. 22, and head north around 40 miles. You will pass through Huntingdon along the way. When arriving in the city of Dresden turn right on Linden Street. Take the third left (Moore St.) and you will see the cemetery straight ahead. Go into the cemetery and head to where you see the flag pole. At the next left turn left. Once you've turned left begin looking to your left for the Williams monument. While visiting in the cemetery be sure to visit the grave of Willie H. Johnson, Jr., another gospel preacher in West Tennessee.
GPS Coordinates of the Grave
or D.d. 36.286738, -88.711135
Sunset Cemetery, Dresden, Tennessee
Bro. Alonzo Preached
Alonzo And Mary Sue Campbell
Married 70 Years
Jun. 12, 1902
Sept. 17, 1995
Oct. 2, 1899-July 31, 1994
Special Thanks: To Tom Childers for assisting me in bringing to light and helping me to locate and visit the grave of Alonzo Williams. I visited the grave in June, 2007 while involved in a series of meetings at Austin's Chapel Church of Christ in Scott's Hill, Tennessee. Many thanks to Tom and his inspiration to continue producing sites like this honoring those who have blazed the trail of godliness. His site has some of this information as well as further info on the life of Alonzo Williams.