Lacey Kirk Williams was the President of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., from 1922 to 1940 and Vice President of the World Baptist Alliance between 1928 and 1940. He also succeeded in creating an interracial alliance which he called a “cooperative” between the wealthy American Baptists, a white denomination, and the National Baptist Convention which greatly contributed to the latter’s growth and the black community as a whole. Williams was President of the National Baptist Convention when he died in a plane crash in 1940 on his way to deliver a speech in Flint, Michigan.
Williams was born to a former slave couple, Levi and Elizabeth Williams, on the Shorter Plantation near Eufaula, Alabama. His family migrated to Texas in 1878. He received his education at Bishop College in Texas and Arkansas Baptist College and was ordained to the ministry in 1894 at the Thankful Baptist Church in Pitt Bridge, Texas. The same year he was married to Georgia Lewis and they had one son together. Williams became the pastor of the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church in Ft. Worth in 1910 and soon afterward was elected president of the Texas Baptist State Convention.