Gordon Williams was born February 21, 1951, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He was one of five children born to the late Christine Williams.
Gordon was educated in the Philadelphia public school system graduating from Edward Bok vocational High School in 1968. immediately following graduation since the draft was enforced, he enlisted in the United States Army. After basic training in Fort Bragg, North Carolina he was sent home for a short leave. Soon thereafter he was sent to a war that was not ours to fight in the jungles of Vietnam. After a year of duty in Vietnam, Gordon was sent home with many scars, visible and unseen. After his honorable discharge, he came home to the streets of south Philly and the love of his life Velda Williams nee’ Leaphart.
Although they met when they were about 12 years of age, Gordon always said Velda got him home from the war.
Gordon and Velda grew up just blocks away from each other. When he came home, he sought Velda out. He asked her mother and sisters how to court the tough cookie. He would go to her sister, Sara’s job at the cleaners every day, until she finally gave him the Velda’s phone number.
That’s where it all began. They started dating in July of 1971. He would date her every day if he could. So, to ensure she was his forever date, he married her on August 2, 1975. The temperature for that day reached 105 degrees, the hottest on record for an adventurous romance. They were blessed with 2 children, a son Mark and daughter, Ebonye.
Gordon had a tremendous work ethic. After returning from the War, he worked in several different positions until beginning his career at SEPTA. He worked at SEPTA for almost 30 Years as a maintenance mechanic and retired in November of 1999. Of course. Being a young retiree, Gordon decided to go back to work. It was hard for him (in the words)”to live the life of Raleigh” while Vel went to work every day. He worked as a shuttle operator for Philadelphia universities and hospitals. Shortly thereafter, he began working for the School District of Philadelphia as a bus driver. He retired July 1, 2019, after almost 20 years of employment. All the kids loved to be on Mr. Williams Bus. Parents Felt at ease knowing Mr. Williams was their children’s bus driver.
Gordon was baptized at a young age at the Tasker St., Baptist Church under the late Pastor Charles McClery. The pride of young Gordon was serving on the usher board. He loved to bring the choir in and greet all members of the congregation at the door.
Gordon was not ashamed of his testimony. He would tell his life struggles to those in need of seeing the power and glory of God in his life, and speak to the greatness that could happen in their. He spoke of his love of being a brand new creature in Christ. If Gordon could help someone along the way, then his living was not in vain.
In 1990 he joined the solid rock Baptist Church under the leader of the late pastor. John Mercer Gordon always tells the story of how he had to put his shoes back on so he could walk up the aisles to join.
He selected his Deacon the Late Charles Finch, whom he called his spiritual dad. Deacon Finch provided guidance and mentorship for Gordon on building of family and taking care of his church home. But Gordon served on the usher board and greeted every member and visitor with Christian love. Because of his strong commitment and willingness to work, pastor, Mercer selected him to be a trustee, and then ultimately a deacon progressing on his spiritual journey and attending the king David Bible school, Gordon felt Call to come a minister of God’s word. he ordained a minister in 1993 when Pastor Mercer retired Gordon stepped in as the Interim Pastor until another pastor could be selected pastor Busby was raised in solid rock as well, and Gordon felt that he (Paster Busby) should be given the opportunity to lead. Pastor Busby came onboard, in the dynamic duo developed. Not only were they pastor and assistant pastor, but they became best friends and brothers. Pastor William served with Pastor Busby until his health began to fail him.
have you had the opportunity to attend a Sunday praise party at solid rock Pastor Williams Solid rock, would greet everyone in the spirit of holiness with his usual praise, saying it’s good to be in the house of the Lord, one more time, because of his love of the Lord and the blessings upon his life praise is what pastor Williams did, even though failing health.
Pastor Williams embodies the book of Joshua he was the epitome of a leader, knowing when to move, stand down, and take ownership for his greatness and mistakes. His grandfather was a pillar of strength and Gordon’s formative years, showing him how to be a strong man, provider and protector. Gordon had the ability to make his wife children, family members, church members, friends, relatives, and colleagues, comfortable and safe. He listened without judgment and was able to give the best advice.
After a tumultuous year of, Gordon quietly left this life on the morning of Monday, October 16, 2023. We did not want to think of a life without him, but in true Gordon fashion, he prepared us every step of the way.
“ for I am now ready to be offered in the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteous, which the lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto them all them also that love his appearing.”
He leaves not to mourn, but to cherish his life his wife Velda, his son, Mark (wife Tamika) and daughter Ebonye, his brother Norman (sister-in-law Edna), sister-in-law, Sara (brother-in-law George), grandchildren- Jetta (grandson in law James), Markeyda, Lanier, Anya, Mark Jr, Bailey; his great grandchildren - Niara, Jasir and Josiah Gordon; a host of nieces and nephews; Solid Rock Church family; a host of cousins and abundance of friends, and work families from septa and the school district