East Flatbush

Rev. Williams retires after 16 years leading East Flatbush Church

October 14, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Rev. Howard K. Williams (left, with Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix) retired late last month after leading the St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in East Flatbush for the past 16 years. Photos courtesy of Michelle Etwaroo

After 16 years of leadership, the Rev. Canon Dr. Howard K. Williams of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in East Flatbush retired from active parish ministry on Sept. 26.

“Canon Williams inspired a sense of importance and belonging within church members of all ages,” St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church said in a statement. “Then he partnered with these committed members and friends to redirect and revitalized St. Augustine’s to be a successful Faith Community by renewing hope, renovating our properties and restoring financial stability.”

Williams was initially appointed interim priest of the church on Feb. 1, 1999, by Rt. Rev. Orris G. Walker Jr. and became the priest-in-charge less than two years later.

As the priest-in-charge, Williams focused on restoring the church to prominence and relieving it of its debt by use of better fiscal management and restoring confidence in the congregation. In the last five years, the church has returned to fiscal viability and many of the previous debts had been retired.

Williams also supported the local community through groups such as the Safe Surrender Program with former District Attorney Charles J. Hynes to help people resolve summonses and warrants. He also helped to sponsor the annual Police, Firefighters and EMS Technicians Recognition Day and was one of five Clergy Liaisons for the NYPD’s 67th Precinct. In 2003, Williams was named Pastor of the Year by Church Women United in Brooklyn for his work in the community.

Congregants had a chance to say goodbye to the reverend at a gala retirement banquet and celebration of his 40th anniversary to the priesthood at Russo’s on the Bay in Queens last month.

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