City of Houston Mayor's Office of Communications 

Mayor's Press Release

A Moment of Silence at City Hall. Mayor Whitmire Honors Rev. William A. Lawson

After learning about the death of Rev. William A. Lawson, Mayor Whitmire asked Houstonians to join him in a moment of silence.

May 14, 2024 -- Today at Houston City Hall, Mayor John Whitmire asked Houstonians to join him in a moment of silence to honor the life and legacy of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Founding Pastor, Reverend William A. Lawson.

"Rev. William Lawson is an icon among icons. He is one of the reasons our city is so great. He helped us during civil rights and social justice like probably no other individual in the country because Houston benefited from his leadership and character," said Mayor Whitmire. "It saddens us, but though God doesn't allow us to choose when we lose a loved one, he does allow us to celebrate their lives. I'm certain all of Houston will celebrate this great man's life in the coming days. Our condolences go to the Lawson and Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church families."

Rev. Lawson was "Houston's pastor" and a guiding light in our city, a visionary leader whose impact reverberated beyond the walls of his church.

Alongside the late Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza and Rabbi Samuel Karff, he stood as one of the "Three Amigos," leading the charge against social injustice and systemic racism, shaping Houston into a more inclusive and equitable community.

Rev. Lawson's legacy is not just a part of our city's history but a living testament to his commitment to social justice. His initiatives, including the William A. Lawson Institute for Peace and Prosperity, continue to uplift the underprivileged and instill hope for a brighter future. We will remember Rev. Lawson's dedication to serving marginalized lives as one of his most significant contributions to creating a more equitable society.

Amidst his tireless advocacy, Rev. Lawson remained rooted in love and faith alongside his beloved late wife, Audrey, and four children. He embodied the values of compassion and integrity for over six decades.

Saying farewell to this titan of faith, we will remember his legacy and strive to embody it. His light will forever guide us. We should all strive for a fair, safe, and equal Houston in his honor and memory.

Rest in peace, Rev. William A. Lawson. Your legacy will forever inspire and guide us.