Jonathan Williams

Religious leader, storyteller
Jonathan Williams likes to tell stories and throw parties, so he started a church that allowed him to do both.

Why you should listen

After teaching fifth grade in West Philadelphia for seven years, Jonathan Williams decided to join the family business and become a pastor like his father. He started a church in Brooklyn, NY, and just three months later faced a religious and personal reckoning when his father announced her transition from male to female. Williams decided that his church would become an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, forever shifting the landscape in his personal and professional life.

Williams continues to lead Forefront Church in Brooklyn. In January 2019, he released his book, She's My Dad: A Father’s Transition and a Son's Redemption, published by Westminster John Knox Press. Williams has told his story to the New York Times, Huffington Post, Christian Standard Magazine, Faithfully Magazine and Rebel Storytellers.

Jonathan Williams’ TED talk

More news and ideas from Jonathan Williams

Live from TEDWomen

Gathering together: Notes from Session 4 of TEDWomen 2018

November 30, 2018

In a searching session of talks hosted by curator and photographer Deborah Willis and her son, artist Hank Willis Thomas (who spoke together at TEDWomen 2017), 12 speakers explored conflict, love, the environment and activism, and more. The session featured duet talks from Paula Stone Williams and Jonathan Williams, Neha Madhira and Haley Stack, Aja Monet and phillip agnew, Beth […]

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