Deacon Adren Rudolph Williams was born March 14, 1938, to Cecil and Lillian Williams in Waco, Texas. His family lovingly called him “John L”, a name that was used more than his given name and is still used to this day in Texas when referring to Adren.
Adren grew up in Waco and upon completing High School he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served 20 years before retiring with full honors. (Coincidentally, this is when Adren discovered his true birth name was Adren Rudolph Williams and not John L.)
After he retired from the United States Navy, Adren settled down in Oakland, California, where he was married and had his one and only child, a daughter, Tiffany Williams. He embarked on many other job career opportunities including Sears & Roebuck, Sun Systems and Gresham City Hall as a security guard for many years before retiring from the workforce.
Adren moved to Portland, Oregon around 1990. He joined Emmanuel Temple Church under the leadership of Bishop A.A. Wells. Adren was an astute student of the word of God and thoroughly enjoyed Mother Hunt’s Bible Study Class. He continued to absorb and expand his knowledge of the word, enrolling and graduating from the A.L. Hardy Academy of Theology. He and his “Road Dog” Deacon Anthony Flowers did bible study together, went to church together and broke bread together; they were stuck like glue. In June 2004 under the leadership of Bishop C.T. Wells, Adren was elevated to Deacon and served faithfully on the Emmanuel Church Deacons Board.
Adren met Gladys Peterson in 2005 and on April 26, 2008, they were joined together in marriage. Gladys remained by his side as he battled cancer and other health issues until he was called home. Their love for each other was something special and admired by all those who knew them. Arden’s close friend, the late Deacon Ellery Wallace was always there whenever Adren would call him day or night. He considered it an honor to assist Adren and Gladys in whatever capacity he could. Adren had a special relationship with his nieces, Janet and Jannell Adams, who quite often aided both Adren and Gladys during their health challenges. He also had a treasured relationship with his nephew, Randy Lee.
Adren loved his daughter, Tiffany, his grandchildren and all his friends and family. He never met a stranger and always put his hand out first. He also found enjoyment while fishing, eating at a buffet, and watching the Portland Trail Blazers. He would toot his truck horn at every corner whether there was a stop sign or not to warn oncoming traffic that he was coming. Deacon Adren was also treasured for the sound of his laughter and will be truly missed. God loved him most of all and called him home to his rest.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Cecil, and Lillian Williams; sister, Ruthie Lee; and nephew, John Lee of Waco, Texas.
Deacon Adren leaves to mourn and cherish his memory his wife, Gladys Williams; daughter, Tiffany Williams of Oakland, CA; granddaughters, Deshia Barnett and Shena Petty of Oakland, CA; nephews, Randy Lee of Waco, TX, Vassie Thompson and Darol Page of Portland, OR; nieces, Janet, and Jannell Adams of Portland, OR; sister-in-law, Florine Thompson of Portland, OR; and a host of extended family members and friends.