Opal Faye Williams
Birth Date: December 26, 1926
Death Date: July 25, 2015
Opal Faye Williams was born December 26, 1926 in Bullard, Texas to the proud parents of
Osie and Mary Owens. She was the fourth of nine children. As a child she suffered from a severe eye disease which caused her to hide under her bed to avoid the pain of light. During this time, she was kept by her grandmother, separated from her brothers and sister. Instead of missing them, she enjoyed all the attention and adoration that was showered on her and only her. It was a sad day when a cure was found and she was forced to return to a house full of siblings. “They tricked me”, she said, telling the story for all to hear. I liked having all the attention to myself. “I was mad when I had to return home”.
One summer her uncle, Whitney Jordan, came to Texas to visit and convinced her parents to let her return with him to California believing that it would offer her more opportunities and a better way of life. Always a very independent woman, she stayed with them a short while and then worked her way through high school, taking a job as a live-in Nanny until she graduated from McClatchy High School. She then joined the Zion Church in Jesus Christ and was one of its founding members. There she was baptized in Jesus name and received the gift of the Holy Ghost under the leadership of Elder Joseph Edison, who ironically is the great grandfather of her current Pastor, Bishop Troy D. Dockery. In 1953 she married Ezekiel Willie Williams and to that union was born 3 beautiful daughters, Delilah, Deborah and Evonnie. Mother Opal and her late husband were founding members of Christ Temple Church and played a major role in building the church. Elder Williams was appointed and accepted the position of Assistant Pastor to the late Bishop Lewis D. Stallworth. With his lovely wife by his side, they served the congregation tirelessly and were instrumental in helping it to be the edifice it is today. They served faithfully for 22 years, making the drive from Sacramento to Stockton every Sunday and every Wednesday from 1959 to 1981. In October 1981, Bishop Lewis Stallworth appointed Elder and Mother Williams to pastor Christ Temple Church #2 in Morgan Hills, California where they remained committed until the untimely death of Elder Williams in1983. Many of their members have remained loyal and loving, adopting her as their mother, participating and sharing in her life until the day of her passing.
She was a very gifted woman, known as the “Queen of Hospitality”. Her home rivaled none, adorned with chandeliers, circular sofas, and 4-ft tall gold lamps. It was a very big deal because back in the day homes like this were only seen in magazines.
You may be surprised to know that Mother Opal was an excellent basketball player and a licensed
cosmetologist in her younger days. But you won’t be surprised to know that she was the best cook this side of the Mississippi! Her dinners…Superb! Her deserts…mouth watering! The best collard greens, candied yams, cornbread and peach cobbler one would ever taste! The only thing that rivaled her cooking was her hospitality. From Bishops and Pastors, Doctors and Lawyers, to homeless and the down trodden. You knew you were “Somebody” when you dined at her table. Gold goblets, gold flatware, pristine china, lace table cloths, gorgeous centerpieces…eat your heart out Martha Stewart. Before there was you, there was Mother Opal!
Legacy of Life
On Holidays her home would be packed with people, many of whom she did not know, but her doors stood open with every room filled, not only with the wonderful aromas of her kitchen but with her selfless loving and giving spirit as well. When you came through the door you knew you were “Welcomed”. For 22 years Mother Opal worked as a housekeeper at Mercy San Juan Hospital in Carmichael, California and twice received the Employee of the Year Award. Although working in what many considered the lowest position, she was the most loved, respected and highly favored employee the hospital has yet to see. So much so that when her nephew, James Owens was drafted to the NFL to play for the San Francisco Forty-Niners, she decided she would throw a party….complete with matching tables and colorful umbrellas curving the bend of her lavish horseshoe driveway. Her front yard was packed not only with family and well wishers, but Doctors, Surgeons and Nurses as well. She had the audacity to invite them and they had the audacity to
come. Whether you knew her as Mama, Nana, Ms. Opal, Queen Opal, Aunt Op, Cousin Opal or Mother Williams, she was indeed a very special lady. You would never know by her demeanor, low key, sweet and kind, but she was a quiet, powerful storm in the Kingdom. She retired in 1993 after suffering a paralyzing stroke. The prognosis said “she’d never walk again” but God had the last say and she did walk again and she did cook again and she did serve again, for another 22 years!
For 88 years God kept and blessed this priceless gift that He had given to the world. God called her home Saturday morning, July 25, 2015 with each of her daughters, Delilah and Evonnie, holding one of her precious hands. The hands that had blessed so many, the hands that had fed so many, the hands that had cleaned for so many, the hands that had cooked for so many, the hands that had cared for so many, the hands that had given to so many, the hands that provided shelter over the years for forty plus people, even today. Those precious hands that had not moved for the last 2 weeks of her life were being called to glory. But as her daughters expressed their love and gratitude, recited the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalms and praised God for favoring them with such a “Priceless” one of a kind mother, Mother Opal squeezed each daughters hand and peacefully transitioned into the hands of the Lord.
Preceding her in death was her husband, Elder Ezekiel Williams and daughter Deborah Faye Williams. She leaves to mourn her daughter, Delilah Rashell Williams and Evonnie Mary Mitchell (Rick) both of Sacramento California, and her adopted daughters from Christ Temple #2 in Morgan Hill, California, Vanessa Rogers (Ron) of Oakland, California, Velda Williams of San Jose, California and Jill Chapman of Oakland, California, one sister, Ollie Jackson and one brother Willie Owens (Peggy) both of Tyler Texas, grandchildren: Cheralyn, Richard, Melissa, Tiffany, Stephen (Liberty), Dewayne (Brittany), Dewight and Antonia, 7 great grandchildren, a very special God daughter, Carol McGee (Calvin) of Wilton, California, a very special cousin Nellie Stallworth (Lewis) of Stockton , California and a host of relatives and friends.
This special woman of God will be greatly missed.
The world has lost a Priceless jewel and Heaven has gained an Angel.
Let He who serves be the greatest among you . . .