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Main > Politics & Religion > Adam Clayton Powell Sr.

A. Clayton Powell was born in Franklin County, Virginia to Anthony and Sallie (Dunning) Powell former slaves. He studied at Wayland Seminary (a predecessor of Virginia Union University) and at the Yale Divinity School.

From 1893 until 1908, Powell was Pastor of the Emanuel Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut. He then served as Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. In 1920, the church acquired a huge lot and built a huge church and community center at a cost of $334,000. Powell lead the church until 1936, when his son, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. became Pastor.

Powell was an honorary member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.

Powell is interred at Flushing Cemetery, Flushing, Queens, New York City.

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