G. I. (Gerald Irvin) Williamson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, 19 May 1925. He received his B.A. degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa (1949), and his B.D. degree from the Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1952). He was ordained 1 June 1952 by the Presbytery of Des Moines in the United Presbyterian Church of North America.
Following ordination, Williamson served congregations of the old United Presbyterian Church of North America (New Bedford, Pennsylvania and Fall River, Massachusetts), the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (Monticello, Arkansas), and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (Park City, Kansas – during a four-year ‘interlude’ from his new Zealand pastorates). He was received into the Presbytery of New York and New England of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) in 1955, and served Grace OPC at Fall River for the next seven years. Between 1963 and 1983, he pastored two churches in the Reformed Churches of New Zealand, before returning to the US permanently in 1983. He then served the OPC churches in Carson and Lark, North Dakota until his ‘retirement’ in 1993. From 1993 to 1995 he helped to plant a church in Hull, Iowa, which congregation joined the newly formed United Reformed Church in 1995.
In 1992 Williamson began editing the new OP periodical for church officers, Ordained Servant. After publishing his fifty-third issue in his eightieth year, he stepped down after fourteen years in the post in 2005.
He is the author of books on worship (The Singing of the Psalms in the Worship of God, 1967), ethics (Wine in the Bible and the Church, 1976), apologetics (Understanding the Times, 1979), and biblical exposition (The Song of Songs, 1981), as well as popular study guides to the Westminster Confession of Faith (1964), the Shorter Catechism (1970), and the Heidelberg Catechism (1993). His guide to the Westminster Confession is published in Spanish by the Trust as La Confesión de Fe de Westminster Para Clases de Estudio.[Adapted from a tribute by Gregory E. Reynolds – Williamson’s successor as editor – in Ordained Servant, Vol. 15, No. 1 (2006).]