Cover photo for Jamye Coleman Williams, Ph.D.'s Obituary
Jamye Coleman Williams, Ph.D. Profile Photo
1918 Jamye 2022

Jamye Coleman Williams, Ph.D.

December 15, 1918 — January 19, 2022

Jamye Coleman Williams (December 15, 1918-January 19, 2022) was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to an AME minister and a religious writer.Williams grew up in Kentucky and earned her B.A. with honors in English from Wilberforce University in 1938. The following year, she received an M.A. in English from Fisk University. Over the next twenty years, she taught at four AME colleges—Edward Waters College, Shorter College, Morris Brown College, and Wilberforce University. In 1959, she completed her Ph.D. in speech communication at The Ohio State University, and that fall joined the faculty of Tennessee State University. She became a full professor of the Department of Communication and in 1973 took over as head of the department, serving in that capacity until her retirement in 1987.

At the same time that her academic career took off, Williams began to ascend the leadership ranks of the AME Church. She served as a delegate to the AME General Conference in 1964 and became a board member of the National Council of Churches in 1968. From 1976 to 1984, she was an alternate member of the AME Church's Judicial Council, and served as president of the 13th District Lay Organization from 1977 until 1985. At the 1984 General Conference, Williams was elected editor of The AME Church Review, the oldest African American literary journal. She held that post for eight years. Williams also paved the way for others in the AME, helping win the elections of all the female bishops.

During her forty-five years in Nashville, Williams was active in her community, serving on several interdenominational organizations, community groups, and civic committees. She worked as a member of the NAACP's Executive Committee and in 1999, received the organization's Presidential Award. She was also active with the YWCA, founding member of Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Community Nashville, to name a few.She was also known for her fierce devotion to her alma mater, Wilberforce University—her “magnificent obsession”—where she taught for 12 yeas, served as a trustee and then trustee emerita. Dr. Williams was also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and The Links, Inc.

Prior to moving to Atlanta in 2003, she was a forty-five year member of St. John AME Church, Nashville, Upon her death, she was a devoted member of Big Bethel AME Church.

She was predeceased by her husband of over seventy-five years, Dr. McDonald Williams, in 2019. She is survived by her daughter Donna M.Williams, grandson, Douglass P.(Pamela) Selby, two great-granddaughters, Jamye and Payton Selby, a niece, Frieda Coleman Minga, and a host of extended family, former students, and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams to Wilberforce University, c/o Development Office, 1055 N. Bickett Rd., P.O. Box 1001, Wilberforce, OH 45384 or online to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/WU-JAMYECLASS1938

Three ways to view the service:

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2 – Go to https://www.facebook.com/BigBethelAME and scroll down to service
on right hand side of screen. Then click on Live Stream to view the service.

3 – Go to https://ame6.church/ and click on “Watch Live” button. Then click on
Live Stream to view the service.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, January 28, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Public Visitation

Saturday, January 29, 2022

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

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