His was a voice of strength and humility — one that could command and comfort, persuade and preach with authority.
The Rev. W.G. Daniels, who was pastor of Pilgrim Valley Baptist Church for 38 years, was a man of peace, but he wasn’t afraid to go to war, especially against rampant gang activity, drugs and other crimes in the community.
He was a friend, ally and confidant to two Fort Worth police chiefs, Thomas Windham and Ralph Mendoza, and was instrumental in organizing a group of ministers that complemented local law enforcement.
Daniels was the first president of Ministers Against Crime (MAC), the organization of pastors that was not afraid to go the front lines of the urban battles, sometimes being caught in the crossfire of warring gang members.
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He remained a leader of the group and of his church until his health began to fail in 2007. But even after that, he remained supportive of MAC’s efforts and the initiatives of the police department for which he had the utmost respect.
On several occasions when segments of the black community were upset after some police action (particularly an officer-involved shooting), Daniels and his cohorts would go to the scene to provide a calming effect.
What many in the community — and some in his congregation — did not know was that this powerful but humble preacher was a police officer in his hometown of Beaumont and later a federal undercover narcotics agent before joining the ministry.
This minister’s voice was stilled in 2012, but the impact he has had on his community and all of Fort Worth will be felt long after his death.
Because of his unselfish contributions to his city, Daniels will be honored Saturday when a street in southeast Fort Worth will be named in his honor.
A dedication service will be at 10 a.m. at New Breed Christian Center, 4500 S. Riverside Drive, after which attendees will drive to the location for the unveiling of the sign that reads: W.G. Daniels Drive.
It is a well-deserved honor.