North Central College - Naperville, IL

Reverend Dr. Tallulah Fisher '74 Williams Added to Wall of Witness

The late Reverend Dr. Tallulah Fisher ’74 Williams became the third name added to the Wall of Witness in Kiekhofer Hall, which honors graduates of North Central College and/or Evangelical Theological Seminary for their lives of witness to their faith and service to humanity.

“Thank you, sister, for being such a dynamic role model,” said Renetta M. Butler ’84, (right), who accepted the award at Homecoming on behalf of her sister Tallulah. “Thank you for not holding your light under a bushel. You continue to influence me and women of all colors.”

During her lifetime, Williams was widely recognized for her leadership in the United Methodist Church. After graduating from North Central College, she earned a master of divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston and a doctor of ministry degree from Chicago Theological Seminary.

She accomplished many “firsts” in the Northern Illinois Conference, including the first African-American woman to be a district superintendent and the first African-American female pastor appointed to serve a predominantly white suburban church. Williams was known as an excellent preacher and was elected chair of the national Black Methodists for Church Renewal, giving four national keynote addresses.

She also maintained her close connections to North Central, returning to campus as a speaker for a Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast and continuing contact with alumni and friends. Williams was elected as a delegate to the 2000 United Methodist General Conference on the first ballot and was nominated for bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference but passed away June, 20, 1999. Many felt she would have been elected bishop.

“You dared greatly,” said Butler. “You made it possible for others to follow in your tracks.”

Annual Report 2008