Rev. William Moses Summerville is the youngest of three siblings and grew up in a working-class family of public-school educators in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois. He moved to California after concluding his tour of duty as an Air Force Reserve Chaplain in Great Falls, Montana. He has served bi-vocationally as Pastor of Kingdom Come Community Church and a Hospital/Hospice Chaplain throughout Los Angeles/Orange County for the past 15 years. Involvement in public service has always been at the heart of his identity, dating back to the early childhood years of his home church and being a Boy Scout. As a Scout, William took his first international trip overseas to represent the Midwestern Region of the Boy Scouts of America at the World Jamboree in Seoul, South Korea, where the troop he belonged to camped out on Mt. Sorak. He later attended the Annual US National Jamboree held in Fort AP Hill, Virginia.
Rev. Summerville has been committed to serving people since his childhood. Inspired by the election of the first Black Attorney General, Roland Burris, in the state of Illinois, William involved himself in the political camp “Boys’ State” in Illinois, where he was elected as the Attorney General. Then off to college, where Rev. Summerville involved himself in the Illinois Eagle Scout Citizenship Program to be elected as the Governor. He later joined the internationally recognized fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, Inc., which is known for the ideals of Brotherhood, Scholarship, and Service among the infamous “Divine Nine” of Black Greek-lettered organizations.
Upon completing college and acknowledging a call to professional ministry, Rev. Summerville went on to seminary at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, on the campus of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He joined the Chaplain Candidate Program of the US Air Force Reserves commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in his first year of seminary. During his second year of seminary, he was assigned as Student Pastor of the Historic Liberty Baptist Church, where this church was only one of two Black Baptist churches that ‘accepted’ both the message and movement of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. All the while throughout his three years of seminary, he became involved and connected to the Trinity United Church of Christ Ministers in Training program led by now Emeritus Pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.
Rev. Summerville’s mission to serve the people stems from personal hardships. After graduating from seminary, he was saddled with substantial student debt. He got married a year after seminary to be later divorced shortly after moving to California. The divorce led to William being homeless, unemployed, fathering a child out of wedlock, and losing his will to even exist.
The revitalization of Rev. William Moses Summerville began when he started working as a Hospice Chaplain and observed how federal policies intentionally impact families of all persuasions and backgrounds. He learned that hospice as a Medicare benefit for the terminally ill was exceptional and coined the term “Medicare-for-the-dying,” which is why it is essential to William that there be Medicare-for-all-the-living. He was further inspired to involve himself with Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign bid in 2016. Rev. Summerville took both his passion for service and justice to become an elected delegate for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. As a delegate, he championed progressive values such as a $15 living wage, free education from kindergarten through college, reparations, undocumented immigrant justice, ending forever wars, and health care as a human right in the form of Medicare for All.
In 2016, Senator Bernie Sanders told his supporters to run for office at the close of his primaries, which has been six years since Senator Sanders made that clarion call. Rev. William Moses Summerville believes now is the time to come out of the 15-year insulation of one-on-one consultations throughout the Long Beach and West Orange County area and run for Congress to engage in the collective needs of the community.