In 1945, the church moved into a small house on the sounthside of Rockmart and steadily began to grow. The church was named Church of Lord Jesus in 1953 and in 1980, the founder’s son, Bishop David Braziel Jr., took over as pastor.
After he served for 33 years, his daughter, the Rev. Davilyn L. Williams, now assumes the role of pastor and in doing so adds her own chapter to the church’s long history.
Williams is set to be installed as the first female pastor of the church May 31 at 4 p.m. The event, which will be held at the church in Rockmart, is a symbolic “passing of the mantle,” Williams said. She assumes leadership in the ministry started by her grandfather, a man with whom she shared a special bond in the short time she knew him.
“He was the one person I walked to when I took my first steps,” Williams said. “We did have a special relationship.”
Williams, who was born in Rome and formerly lived in Cartersville, followed her father and grandfather into ministry in 2010. She has since founded Davilyn Williams Evangelistic Ministries Inc. and has hosted conferences and services throughout northwest Georgia.
Her father said he is “confident” his daughter will continue the legacy started by his father.
“I’m very confident she will carry out the work,” Braziel said. “I’m very proud of her. Her heart is definitely in it.”
Williams joins a select number of women who have been assigned pastoral duties. Though female pastors are few in number, Williams said she is not concerned about the disparity.
“When it comes to the word, God speaks to me like he speaks to any man, or male,” Williams said. “The foundation is there. There’s really no pressure. I know that I am called; I know who called me and I know I am where I am purposed to be. The only pressure, if any, is to stay connected with God, for He is my source.”
Williams lives in Dallas with her husband Justin B. Williams and their four children, Daverica, Davien, Jastin and JuNist.