RIP: Former North Carolina Bishop Suffragan Hunt Williams laid to rest

By ENS staff
Posted Feb 14, 2013

[Episcopal News Service] Retired Diocese of North Carolina Bishop Suffragan Huntington Williams, Jr., died Jan. 28.

A requiem Eucharist was held at Christ Church, Charlotte. Williams, 87, was buried at St. Peter’s Church, also in Charlotte.

Williams served as bishop suffragan from 1990-1996.

In the Diocese of North Carolina he served as rector of the parishes of St. Peter’s, Charlotte, 1963-1990; and St. Timothy’s, Winston-Salem, 1956-1963. Prior to his service in North Carolina he was an assistant at Calvary and St. George, New York, 1954-1956, and curate at St. Thomas’ Church, Garrison Forest Owings Mills, Maryland, 1952-1954.

During his ministry in North Carolina he served several terms on the Diocesan Council, the Standing Committee and for many years on the Commission on Constitution and Canons as the chairperson.

A biography on the diocesan website notes that in Charlotte he was known for his public support of desegregation and his commitment to urban ministry; in the parish he was noted for his encouragement of the ministry of all the baptized; in the diocese he was prized for his expertise in the Constitution and Canons of the Church and for his skill as a consultant. In addition to his parish work, he was a founding board member of Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte and Hospice of Charlotte, according to an obituary here.

“His gifts of assessment and encouragement were especially well-suited to his work as bishop with the university chaplaincies, the Camp & Conference Center, and the ordination process,” the biography says.

Williams volunteered to serve in World War II after matriculating at Harvard in 1943. He was in the 87th Infantry Division in the Third Army, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and helped to liberate the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, the obituary noted. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Infantry Badge for his service during the war.

Williams returned to Harvard and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1952. He was ordained deacon on Jan. 1, 1953, and priest on June 1, 1953, by then-Maryland Bishop Noble C. Powell. He married Mary Britton in June 1949 and they have four children. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1991.


Comments (5)

  1. Bob Van Keuren says:

    When I was a parishioner at St. Peter’s in Charlotte I had the great privilege of serving with Hunt representing the parish at the Charlotte Uptown Cooperative Ministries. I remember him with great fondness and carry the mark of his influence on me to this day.

  2. John Denham says:

    I remember Hunt Williams with great affection and gratitude. He was one of my principal mentors in my early ministry and preached at my ordination to the priesthood, He and his wife remained good friends during my years in Baltimore when they visited the area. A fine man of high integrity, good humor and warm friendship.

  3. Raleigh Daniel Hairston, D.Min. Rector Retired says:

    I remember Bishop Hunt williams quite well as Suffragan Bishop when I served as Chaplain at Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh in the Diocese of North Carolina. He was a kind and compassionate man who was a friend of the college, and donated to its library many of his books upon his retirement, and relocation to his home in Charlotte. “May his soul rest in peace and rise in glory”. Amen.

  4. Robert D. Hair says:

    My father, Marion S. Hair, took us to St. Peters from 1955 till I went into the service in 1967.
    Rev. Hunt Williams was one of the finest man I’ve ever known.
    God bless him!
    Robert D. Hair

  5. Thomas C. Williams says:

    Thanks to all who knew and loved my father. He is still with all his four children in mind and spirit and we miss him and think of him often.

    Today would have been his 90th birthday. Hip hip horray. We are lucky for all the joy, fun, wisdom and love he gave us.

    Thomas C.Williams
    Charlotte and Fairview NC

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