Religious Leader and Community Organizer Involved in United Nations Passes Away

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Moses Williams, a longtime champion for Black Americans, and people all over the world seeking a more peaceful society, passed away on September 21 at the age of 74.

For four decades, Williams worked with the United Nations (UN) on countless projects, serving as a member of Athletes United for Peace (AUP) and as the Vice Chair of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

"A strong intelligent minister with innovative approaches to issues of injustice, Reverend Moses Williams saw the United Nations as a platform for the voices of Black America to resonate around the globe," reads an obituary for the longtime community leader.

"He championed for the rights of Blacks inside New York’s UN Headquarters, on the continents of Africa, Europe, North America and South America. He kept a strong voice in the Christian church while working with people of all faiths, nationalities and ethnicities."

Williams worked as Executive Director of Olof Palme Peace Foundation, and supervised and coordinated events at Rutgers’ Kirkpatrick Chapel, where services for him will be held in October.

He was also a member of the National Council of Churches, and an appointed Commissioner on the New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission.

Williams received a number of awards and honors including a 1982 Peace Recognition Award from the UN Secretary General of Disarmament.

After battling cancer for at least two years, Williams passed away at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, but his memory lives on in those who knew him.

Williams leaves behind brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and many close friends, according to the obituary.

The son of a preacher, Williams was raised in Florida before coming to New Jersey to study at Rutgers University, where he obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees.

"Behind the scenes he applied his studies in community ministry to simply helping folks out," reads the obituary sent to New Brunswick Today by Barbara Horne.

"He shared job opportunities, a place to stay, food, and clothes with people inside and outside his home city of New Brunswick."

"Celebration of Life" services are scheduled for Saturday, October 3, from 10am to 11:30 am at the Kirkpatrick Chapel on the Rutgers campus, located at the intersection of Somerset and George Streets.

Contributions can be sent to Anderson Funeral Services in New Brunswick, which is providing the arrangements for the end of life service. 

For more information, contact Rev. Williams' brother Reuben at [email protected] or (­848) ­303-­0111.

Editor at New Brunswick Today | 732-993-9697 |

Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.