VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) — As Black History Month slowly comes to a close, the city of Vernon has created some new Black history of its own.
Early Williams III was sworn in as the first Black city commissioner in Vernon; with his platform, Williams III hopes to build bridges and bring the community together.
“We’re a diverse culture of people. And I believe with that diversity, we can make some things happen.”
Williams III believes he is called by God to serve. That calling led him to move to Vernon from Fort Worth six years ago to be the pastor at New Hope Baptist Church and that same calling now leads him to become the first Black city commissioner for the city of Vernon.
“I took advantage of an opportunity. I just gracefully walked through a door I think that the lord positioned me for. Right timing, right place,” Williams III said. “Not about me, it’s about those that are gonna come behind me.”
Williams III was unopposed for the Place 1 seat that was left vacant after the resignation of Justin Marsh in December.
Mayor Pam Gosline said she doesn’t know why the city that has been around since as early as 1858 has taken this long to have a Black commissioner.
“Why did it take 108 years to get the first woman mayor? I’m the first woman mayor. So we’ve set history this year,” Gosline said. “I really don’t have the answer for that maybe it was just waiting for the right people.”
Williams III has already spoken with other city commissioners and believes they are the right people to work with as he hopes to bring the community together in his new position.
“Coming to the table and talking to one another I believe is one of the things I think we can do better. Everybody deserves to win. And I think with our leadership, they’re positioning us perfectly to win,” Williams III said.
Williams III was also inspired to run so he can be a role model for the TIE club: an organization in Vernon ISD that focuses on teaching etiquette, leadership and character to young men.
“That group of men that we have the opportunity to mentor, I hope they hear this. Pastor Williams has gracefully walked through a door. We’ve taught it every Wednesday during the school years, this is evidence of that,” Williams III said.
Vernon Black history in the making as Early Williams III blazes a trail that he hopes God will admire.
Gosline also said the entire city commission is excited about having Williams III on board and that they will all work great together as a team.