Services for Shrine’s Cardinal Changa Kagia
May 18, 1921 – Feb. 4, 2012
Thomas Eugene Williams was born in Detroit on May 18, 1921 to Martha and Raymond Williams. He was the eldest of six children. Thomas attended Northwestern High School. He became a top executive with the Detroit Water Board and served for many years where he rose from a clerical position to a mayoral appointment.
Thomas showed leadership ability very early in life and was sought out during his entire life to serve many organizations in the Detroit community. His leadership roles included: Chairman of the NAACP Youth Division, co-founder of the Dupree Victorian Choir, president of the Gladiators and president of the Sphinx Club of the Alpha Beta Epsilon Fraternity.
In 1954 Thomas became one of the founding members of Central Congregational Church, which in 1967 became the Shrine of the Black Madonna. He adopted the name Changa Kagia and was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the foundation of the Black Christian Nationalist movement in several states. In the pulpit on Sunday mornings, he was well known for his poetic, encouraging and heartfelt prayers, which were an inspiration to all. He served as church treasurer, president of the Men’s Club, president of the Deacon Board, building manager and other significant roles during his spiritual journey.
He was consecrated Cardinal by Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman (Rev. Albert B. Cleage) and continued to serve God throughout his life, never losing his desire to help others. Later, he was proud to be honored by Jaramogi Kimathi (Rev. Demonsthene Nelson) as the church’s first Cardinal Emeritus.
Some of his favorite pastimes were bowling with his team, playing scrabble with his children, shooting pool with his friends and connecting with his loved ones.
Thomas Eugene Williams-Cardinal Changa Kagia leaves to mourn his passing four daughters, Dr. Carol Foster, Catherine Williams, Colleen (Bishop Kinda) Carrington and Connie Kleinow; his son, Thomas Eugene Williams, Jr.; his sisters, Martha Lynem and Betty Watson; his brothers, Herbert Williams and Donald Williams; eight grandchildren, Attorney Christina Mims, Colette “Sannyu” Carrington, Dr. Kamaria Catalan, Creflo Mims III, Oni Mwandani, Angela Carroll, Ariel Williams and Cheyenne Williams; 11 great grandchildren; nieces and nephews and many other beloved family members, his spiritual brothers and sisters of the Shrine of the Black Madonna and lifelong friends.