Bishop Suffragan of Ohio, Retired
The Right Reverend Arthur B. Williams, Jr. was consecrated Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Ohio on October 11, 1986 at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio and retired from that position on December 31, 2002.
Born on June 25, 1935, in Providence, Rhode Island, Bishop Williams received his early education in the public schools of East Providence. He graduated from Brown University in 1957, after which he was commissioned a line officer in the United States Navy where he served until he entered the General Theological Seminary. He graduated and received a Master of Divinity degree in 1964.
Bishop Williams was ordained to the deaconate on June 20, 1964, and the priesthood on March 27, 1965, by Bishop John Higgins of Rhode Island. After serving parishes in Providence and Riverside and the Cathedral of St. John, Bishop Williams was called to Grace Church in Detroit in 1968.
In 1970 Bishop Williams was appointed to the staff of the Diocese of Michigan as Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry, Deployment and Urban Affairs. He served the Diocese of Michigan until he was appointed Archdeacon of Ohio in 1977 by Bishop John Burt. He was elected Bishop Suffragan of Ohio in 1986.
While Archdeacon, he was elected a Deputy to three General Conventions and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance. He has served on the national Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, the Board of Trustees of the General Theological Seminary, and was a consultant to the Calendar Committee of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.
Bishop Williams is presently Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Ohio. He served several years on the faculty of CREDO and was the Episcopal Visitor to the Order of St. Benedict. Following his retirement he was Interim Director of Ethnic Congregational Development on the staff of the Presiding Bishop He chaired the Editorial Committee of Lift Every Voice and Sing II, published in 1993. He also chaired the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee of the Executive Council and the Committee on Human Sexuality of the 73rd General Convention. From 1995-2003 he served as Vice President of the House of Bishops. His memberships include the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and the Union of Black Episcopalians.
In 1974 Bishop Williams was awarded a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Michigan and was honored in 1987 by the General Theological Seminary with the degree of Doctor of Divinity. Bishop Williams married the former Lynette Rhodes at Trinity Cathedral on July 27, 1985.