E. Jerry Williams

The Early Years

Jerry Williams was born in Pocomoke City, Maryland to Laura J. Williams and the Reverend Elijah J. Williams, a Baptist minister. His early education began in the public schools of Worcester County, Maryland. Soon after the death of his father, the family moved to Baltimore, where E. Jerry Williams was enrolled in the Baltimore County public school system. His early education also included piano lessons that eventually enabled him to become an accomplished musician. During those early years, E. Jerry joined People’s Church and later served as Superintendent of the Sunday school Department. He graduated from Douglas High School and went on to pursue higher education at Morgan State College (now Morgan State University) where he earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1930.

The Middle Years

A new chapter began in the life of E. Jerry Williams when he returned to the Eastern Shore. He moved to the town of Berlin, Maryland to become Principal of Flower Street High School. This was the beginning of a mutual admiration between E. Jerry and the residents of Berlin that would last for two decades. He was very active in the community and served with the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the NAACP, and various educational organizations. He continued his education earning a Master of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He also began to spread his musical talents on piano, organ and choral techniques throughout the community and on occasion, he even chimed in with his own rich and melodious bass voice. E. Jerry was very interested in the education and development of young people. The fact that he himself came from a poor family, enabled him to understand the plight of youngsters who could not attend school because of a lack of clothing or other necessities. Therefore, he intervened to provide assistance whenever possible. E. Jerry Williams, who worked his way through school, realized the value and importance of an education. Consequently, he shrived to educate and prepare his students for the future while at the same time introducing them to the arts of music, poetry, and drama. His stay in Berlin came to an end in the early 1950’s when he moved to Princess Anne, Maryland to become Principal of Greenwood High School. In Princess Anne, he became active in the leadership of the Somerset County Educational Association. He fought a continuing battle for better educational facilities for teachers and students. The final stop in his educational career was Lexington Park, Maryland where he became principal of George Washington Carver High School. It was a time when the integration of schools was just beginning to take place in St. Mary’s County. E. Jerry’s involvement with the Saint Mary’s County Educational Association and a special task force assisted in providing a smooth integration process and the development of mutual understandings between teachers and students of different races.

The Later Years

After a long and illustrious career during which he inspired many teachers and pupils, E. Jerry Williams retired from the school system in July 1969. After a brief period, he returned to Baltimore, the city of his childhood. Through the many years, he maintained his activities with the Masons, Shriners, and other fraternal organizations in the state of Maryland. He also returned to the church of his childhood, which had now become Memorial Baptist church. The final chapter in the life of E. Jerry Williams began when he decided to enter the ministry. It is believed that he had always dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps. That dream came true when, after various preparations, he was ordained into the Baptist Ministry in the early 1970’s. Even at this late stage in his life, he continued his pursuit for higher education, and earned the Doctor of Divinity Degree from Baltimore College of Bible. He eventually became Assistant Pastor at Memorial Baptist Church. He remained in that position until his death on August 24, 1979. E. Jerry Williams had one daughter, Barbara, and three sons, E. Jerry Williams, Jr., Willis and Billy.

The Legacy

During his eventful life, he belonged to the following organizations:

Educational Affiliations

Member, National Association of Secondary School Principals

Member, Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals

Member, Maryland Society of Educational Pioneers

First Vice President Maryland Educational Association

President of Worcester, Somerset and St. Mary’s County Educational Associations

Member, Maryland State Teacher’s Association

Member, National Educator’s Association

Fraternal Affiliations

United Supreme Council, Thirty-Third Degree Masons, PHA

Past Master, Booker T, Washington Lodge #87 – Berlin, MD

Past Master, Mount Olive Lodge #25 – Baltimore, MD

A Founder and First CIC, King David Consistory #284 – Salisbury, MD

Associate Grand Chaplain, Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge F&AM, PHA

Past Grand Junior Warden, Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge F&AM PHA

Vice President, BD of Trustees, Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge F&AM, PHA

Director of the Scholarship Commission, MWPHGL of Maryland F&AM, PHA

Member, Keystone Chapter #10, Royal Arch Masons

Member, St. Joseph Commandery of Knights Templar

Past Potentate, Jerusalem Temple #4, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine

Past Imperial Potentate, Imperial Council of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine

Past Grand Patron, Myra Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star

Past Worthy Joshua, Rosa J. Richardson Court, Heroines of Jericho

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity

Religious Affiliations

Assistant Pastor, Memorial Baptist Church – Baltimore, MD

Recording Secretary, United Baptist Missionary Convention of Maryland

Corresponding Secretary, Baptist Minister’s Conference of Baltimore, MD and Vicinity

Member, Advisory Board of the Baltimore Baptist Clergy in Action

Secretary, The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Maryland