Houston/ Community & Society
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Published on May 23, 2024
Houston Mourns the Loss of Iconic Civil Rights Leader Reverend William "Bill" Lawson at 95Source: Google Street View

Houston's spiritual leader and civil rights advocate, Reverend William "Bill" Lawson, will be honored with a celebration of life after his passing at the age of 95, FOX 26 Houston reported. Reverend Lawson's body will lie in state at the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a Community Service of Celebration at 6 p.m.; a Congregational Service of Celebration is set for 11 a.m. Friday.

Reverend Lawson, who was affectionately known as Houston's pastor, has left behind a legacy of compassion and social justice after establishing Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in 1962 with his wife, Audrey Hoffman Lawson, before retiring in 2004, as the church noted in a heartfelt tribute last week.

The public has been invited to join in remembering the pastor, who also made his mark as a teacher and civil rights leader throughout nearly a century's span of life. As KHOU reported, Dr. Marcus Cosby, the current senior pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, highlighted Rev. Lawson's influence by saying, "His living has reminded us of our necessity to show love for all humanity, to ensure that no one feels they are not included in the family of God or the family of our congregation."