Beloved Longtime Pastor of the Historic Michigan Street Baptist Church
(pictured above Bishop William Henderson)
Bishop William Henderson, the beloved longtime pastor of the historic Michigan Street Baptist Church, an Underground Railroad Station, made his Transition on January 11.
There will be a public viewing held Sunday January 17, from 7-9 p.m. at Alan R. Core Funeral Home , 1933 Kensington Ave. A private ceremony will be held Monday January 18.
The 85-year-old spiritual icon began preaching in the streets at William and Bennett at a young age. He was then known as “Brother Billy.” He ultimately devoted his life to the Michigan Street Baptist Church and teaching about freedom and the role that the sanctuary played in helping former enslaved Africans escape to Canada through the Underground Railroad in the 1800’s.
The family of Bishop Henderson released the following statement in the wake of his passing:
” It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Bishop William Henderson. He was a man dedicated to God who began his ministering career at the age of 15, which took him across the world from Africa to Russia. He battled myriad of health issues, but was resilient and pressed on with purpose and conviction.”
“Bishop leaves a tremendous legacy in the City of Buffalo. It was his mission and part of his calling to keep the Michigan Street Baptist Church standing. Having taken over the church in 1974, people would come from all over the globe to hear him tell stories about escaped enslaved Africans hiding in the church as part of the Underground Railroad as they made their way to Canada.”
“Bishop was a tireless man of God and an inspiration to our family and everyone he touched. He will be missed.”
He leaves behind his wife of forty years, Dianna Henderson; three children Dwand, Addison and Rachel; and four grandchildren.