The Rev. Chandra I. Williams is running to become the first female president of the Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention because she wants to make sure that women have a say in making decisions at both the state convention and local church levels, along with making the Black church strong again.
“I want to make sure that women have a seat at the table when vital decisions in ministry are made,” explained Williams, who currently serves as the convention’s Eastern regional vice president. That region encompasses Philadelphia and surrounding areas and is one of the convention’s largest sectors with more than 136 registered churches. She also served as president of the convention’s youth department for four years.
The Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention has been in existence for 125 years and consists of four regions: Eastern, Central, Southwestern and Western.
Williams was in Clairton over Memorial Day weekend in May speaking at an intimate tea with local church ministers and delegates one day, and at Morning Star Baptist Church in Clairton the next day, presenting her platform, “Operation Reset.”
She had come to the City of Prayer in October 2016 when the convention was held at Clairton’s Mt. Olive First Baptist Church, where over 500 people from churches across the state converged on the city to hear the dynamic preaching, speaking and to participate in the teaching sessions the convention offered. Williams was happy to pay the city a return visit.
“The churches need to be unified. When the church is not unified, each church is doing its own thing and people play on that,” Williams told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview. “We are the catalyst to make the African American church strong again.”