In the Spring of 2015, Rev. Litha Beard had a vision and acted on it. She understood that action is important and that small actions have big results.
As a result, Rev. Beard bought a tent and placed it on the lot at the southeast corner of Fifth Street and Troost Avenue. Her first sermon was preached to two persons, her husband and Mrs. Annie Brown, known as the “Mother of St. Peter’s Zion.”
In November, when the weather grew cold, she rented a church at 1833 Grove Street and moved her congregation, a well-organized society known as St. Peter’s A.M.E. Church, to the new location.
In February 1918, she bought a church built by the Mount Calvary Baptist congregation on the northeast corner of Askew avenue and Nineteenth Street.
In November, when the weather grew cold, she rented a church at 1833 Grove Street and moved her congregation, a well-organized society known as St. Peter’s A.M.E. Church, to the new location. In February 1918, she bought a church built by the Mount Calvary Baptist congregation on the northeast corner of Askew avenue and Nineteenth Street.
Within a few years the membership grew to 200. The cost of the church was all paid except about $500 and the Sunday school was large and well organized.
However, as the neighborhood and times changed, St. Peter went through various changes. Nevertheless, the faithful people of God continued to serve, knowing that God still had work for them to do.
Currently, St. Peter AME Zion is pastored and led by Rev. Lelar Williams.
Rev. Lelar Williams
Rev. Lelar Williams is committed to God and following where God leads. She is also committed to serving and empowering people, with a heart for those who struggle.
It is small wonder, then, that the church she pastors serves the poor, the bereaved, the homeless, and anyone who is on the margins of our society. As a longtime Kansas Citian, she is honored to serve fellow Kansas Citians at St. Peter AME Zion in the Kansas City metro area.
Rev. Williams brings almost 30 years of experience of leadership, accounting, business management, financial analytics and customer service to the work of service at St. Peter.
Rev. Williams answered her call to the ministry on October 13, 2007. She was ordained as Deacon in July 2013, and then as Elder in July 2015 by Bishop Darryl B. Starnes in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
In May 2017, Rev. Williams graduated Magnum Cum Laude with a Master of Divinity degree and a Certificate in Christian Discipleship from Nazarene Theological Seminary. On January 31, 2017, Bishop Starnes appointed her to her first pastoral assignment to the St. Peter A.M.E. Zion Church, Kansas City, Missouri.
God has enriched Rev. Williams' life with a wonderful son and his wife, and five grandchildren whom she adores. She loves her supportive family. She enjoys traveling. Her favorite pastime is reading, studying and meditating on God’s word, watching movies and spending time with family and friends.