​​​Pastor Ephraim Williams is the most senior tenured pastor in the Sacramento region and leads the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, one of the largest congregations in the area. Over his 45-year tenure, he has grown the church’s membership from 133 in 1971 to more than 4,000 today. He has performed more than 900 marriages, 2,200 funerals, 2,100 baptisms and 6,100 sermons.

His outreach to the community includes regular participation in the CSU’s and Sacramento State’s “Super Sunday” effort to encourage college enrollment. He also spearheads the St. Paul and Oak Park Community Outreach Program, which provides recreational, educational and family support programs including an after-school tutorial program, emergency assistance, health and wellness programs, a culinary program for at-risk youth and summer programs for children and youth. Future plans call for children’s programs to inspire interest in the STEM disciplines, and affordable housing for senior citizens.

Pastor Williams’ commitment to the region extends to his service to organizations such as the Sacramento Baptist Ministers Conference, the Sacramento Urban League, the NAACP and the Sacramento City Unified School District. He was instrumental in changing the name of Sacramento Boulevard to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

His many local, regional and national honors include the 2014 Peace Award from Sacramento State's Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution. During the ceremony, Pastor Williams was praised for his "exemplary leadership in building bridges between religious and civic life in the Sacramento region."

In recognition of his extensive and ongoing leadership, especially in the Sacramento region, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Sacramento are proud to confer on Ephraim Williams the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.​