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Reverend Robert Meaker Powell, 1930 - 2003

Reverend Powell Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Reverend Robert Meaker Powell, 1930 - 2003

The following is excerpted and edited from a lengthy obituary presented at a "Celebration of Life for Reverend Robert Meaker Powell, Retired." It was prepared for his funeral service held on December 13, 2003 at St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Annapolis, Maryland.
Robert Meaker Powell was born in Cumberland, Maryland to the late William and Edna Powell on April 23, 1930. He was one of eleven children born to that union. Father Powell served in the Diocese of Maryland for the past 45 years. Father Powell attended the public schools in Cumberland (graduating from Carver High School) and then matriculated at Morgan State University, earning a Baccalaureate Degree in Sociology and Philosophy in 1954. Following a very special and personal call, Robert Powell studied at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria and in 1957 he received a Master of Divinity Degree.

Father Powell was ordained to the Deaconate on July 6, 1957 and eight months later was ordained to the Priesthood on March 20, 1958. Father Powell served as Diocesan Missionary from 1958 to 1964, during which time he served as Executive Director of the Lafayette Square Community Center, Baltimore, which became Maryland's First Settlement House. He also served as the Associate Rector at St. James in Baltimore. In 1964, Father Powell was appointed the Vicar of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Baltimore. Holy Trinity became an independent parish in 1967 and Father Powell was invited to serve as the first Rector. He served Holy Trinity until 1971.

In July 1971, Father Powell was appointed his Vicar at St. Philip's Episcopal Church located in Annapolis, Maryland. When St. Philip's became an independent parish in 1977, Father Powell was elected as Rector. He retired from St. Philip's after serving 26 years as Rector.

Father Powell has served the Church and the Diocese with distinction. He served on the Standing Committee of the Diocese (Council of Advice to the Bishop) for twelve years, serving as Secretary and being elected as the first African-American President in the 195 years of the diocese.

The following represent some of the many accomplishments, awards, and examples of Reverend Powell's civic involvement: Chaplain for Morgan State University for 10 years; the Anne Arundel County Human Relations Commission, serving as President from 1974 until his death; and the Board of the Anne Arundel County Chapter of the NAACP. Among the numerous citations Reverend Powell received were the Anne Arundel County Human Relations Commission Award, the 1995 Martin Luther King Drum Major Award for Outstanding Community Service, the Bishop's Award for Distinguished Ministry in the Diocese of Maryland in 1991, and citations from the Governor of Maryland, Mayor of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County Board of Education, and Anne Arundel County League for the Handicapped.

How blessed we were that 45 years as Priest has been served to us and our needs here in the Diocese. Father Powell retired on July 1, 1997.

Father Powell was preceded in death by two brothers, Jack Powell and William Powell, Jr.; and two sisters, Maxine Kent and Evelyn Powell. He is survived by three brothers, Ronald Powell of Baltimore, MD, Col. Donald Powell (Retired) and his wife, Rosie of Springfield, VA, John Powell and his wife, Sharon, of Cumberland, MD; three sisters, Barbara Clay of Cumberland, MD, Audrey Powell and Brenda Gurganus, both of Bridgeport, CT. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, several God-children, and a host of other relatives and friends.


The information was provided by Renae Powell, Reverend Powell's niece


Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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