December 2020

Congratulatory Announcements

* Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams, General Officer Retired, celebrates her 102nd Birthday on December 15, 2020

Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams will celebrate her 102nd Birthday, December 15, 2020. Among her many accomplishments, she is the first woman to be elected a General Officer in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, as editor of The AME Church Review, an established literary journal.

Dr. Williams loves reading, writing, and receiving mail.  Let us shower her with birthday cards and keep her busy celebrating her special day!


Birthday well-wishes can be sent to:

Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams

125 Wynfield Way, SW
Atlanta, GA 30331
(404) 346-8927 — Phone/FAX

Email to:



Dr. Jamye Coleman Williams was born on December 15, 1918, in Louisville, Kentucky, to Rev. Frederick Douglass Coleman, Sr. an AME minister and Mother Jamye Harris Coleman, a religious writer, and missionary. Williams grew up in Kentucky and earned her B.A. with honors in English from Wilberforce University in 1938. The following year, she received an M.A. in English from Fisk University. Over the next twenty years, Williams taught at four A.M.E. institutions of higher education: Edward Waters College, Shorter College, Morris Brown College, and Wilberforce University. In 1959, she completed her Ph.D. in speech communication at the Ohio State University and that fall joined the faculty of Tennessee State University. She became a full professor of communications and in 1973 took over as head of the department, serving in that capacity until her retirement in 1987.

At the same time that her academic career took off, Williams began to ascend the leadership ranks of the A.M.E. Church. She served as a delegate to the A.M.E. General Conference in 1964 and became a board member of the National Council of Churches in 1968. From 1976 to 1984, she was an alternate member of the A.M.E. Church's Judicial Council, serving as president of the 13th District Lay Organization from 1977 until 1985. At the 1984 General Conference, Williams was named editor of The AME Church Review, the oldest African American literary journal. She held that post for eight years. Williams also has paved the way for others in the A.M.E., helping Vashti McKenzie win election as the first female A.M.E. bishop.

During her forty-five years in Nashville, Williams was active in her community, serving on several interdenominational organizations, community groups, and civic committees. She worked as a member of the NAACP's Executive Committee and in 1999 received the organization's Presidential Award. Williams married her husband, McDonald Williams, in 1943. A distinguished educator in his own right, he died in 2019 at age 101. They have one daughter Donna, one grandson Douglass (Pam) Selby, and two great-granddaughters Jamye and Payton Selby. Williams resides in Atlanta.  

The grace and favor of God directed the path of Attorney Derek E. Bruce, Managerial Shareholder, Orlando Office, GunsterLaw during a year that we never could imagine, however, we know who is in control.

During the virtual 122nd Session of the Central Annual Conference of the Eleventh Episcopal District, the Sons of Allen Night of Witness, Derek E. Bruce, Esq. was the recipient of the Bishop’s Award presented by Bishop A. J. Richardson, Jr., Presiding Prelate. Congratulations and Best Wishes because we feel blessed in all you do!

This award was given for stellar leadership in giving back to the community in mentoring young lawyers, entrepreneurial business and professional service and an inspiring member of the Mt. Olive African Methodist Episcopal Church, Orlando Florida, Dr. Mark E. Crutcher, Senior Pastor. Derek was 8 years of age when his father, the late Dr. Y. Benjamin Bruce, Sr., was assigned to Mt. Olive and became a General Officer in African Methodism from this pulpit. The legacy of his father still resonates in leadership, however, in a different career trajectory.

Additionally, Congratulations to Attorney Bruce whose name appears on the 2020-21 List of Best Lawyers in America for the third consecutive year in Government Relations and Lobbying.

Best Lawyers is the only purely peer review guide to the legal profession for those who have excelled in their practice area. For almost 40 years, Best Lawyers has assisted those in need of legal services to identify the lawyers best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. The lists are published in leading local, regional, and national publications across the globe. 

With nearly twenty years of practice, Derek Bruce has developed experience in numerous areas of the law, ranging from the representation of clients in complex business litigation and property tax disputes, to the negotiation of large real estate transactions and the resolution of sensitive land use issues. Today, Derek primarily represents clients before state and local governments throughout the state of Florida on land use, procurement and regulatory issues.

Before joining GunsterLaw, Attorney Bruce led the statewide governmental affairs team for one of Florida’s most recognizable entities and Central Florida’s largest employer. In that capacity, Derek developed relationships with some of the state’s most influential decision makers in government. He is dedicated to accomplishing his clients’ goals by working effectively with government officials and their staffs. His experience in dealing with elected officials on all level helps him to provide clients with a comprehensive understanding of how governments operate.


Attorney Bruce has received many honors of recognition; among them are:
The Best Lawyers in America - Government Relations Practice, 2018-2021
A V Rated by Martindale-Hubble
Orlando Business Journal, “40 Under 40”
The National Black Lawyers - Top 100
Emails:  or

2020 Bishop’s Award Presentation