About 500 attend funeral for pastor killed in van crash

Michael Woodward was a bit apprehensive about attending the funeral service Tuesday for the Rev. Ronmyka Williams. After all, he was in the same van crash Oct. 3 near Blakely, Ga., in which Williams and three others died. Woodward was one of 15 survivors.

Following the afternoon service at St. John AME Church on Steam Mill Road in Columbus, Woodward said he was glad he came.

“I got peace,” he said. “I thought I’d cry but the service was lively.”

There was plenty of singing, foot stomping and hand clapping in the ceremony that lasted over two hours. “It was good. There was much praising of the Lord,” Woodward said.

Approximately 500 people filled the 19-year-old sanctuary. A white casket with a combination of red and white carnations and roses on top of it was at the front.

One of those in attendance was Christopher Weaver, a worker at Lance in Columbus.

He was not a member of Williams’ church, Tabernacle of Prayer & Deliverance, but knew Williams well.

“The church I attend, Word of Deliverance, and his had fellowship together,” Weaver said. “If you just met him, you could feel the love of God. He was always singing in church. He just loved music. If he was watching this service today, he was probably up there dancing.”

Ten different members of the clergy spoke at the service.

One was the Rev. Frederick Johnson from Sylvester, Ga. After the service, he talked some about his friend.

“Ron Williams was a really kind man,” Johnson said. “He was a fun person to be around.”

During the service, the Rev. Garfield Curlin called Williams a “young man with a lot of talent.”

Curlin came to the service from Hopkinsville, Ky., where he had known Williams as a teen and was a mentor to him.

“He was a man full of gifts,” Curlin said.

During the service, Williams’ brother and sisters led the congregation in song.

Kingdom of Faith Ministries performed several musical numbers at the service. An eulogy was given by Bishop Willie Ford of the Move of God Deliverance Tabernacle in Camp Hill, Ala.

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