Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. (May 5, 1865 — June 12, 1953) was a prominent clergyman, author, and father of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
A. Clayton Powell was born in Franklin County, Virginia to Anthony and Sallie (Dunning) Powell. Published sources list him as the child of Sally Dunning, an African-Cherokee slave woman, and Llewellyn Powell, a white slave owner of German descent.
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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 Harlem, New York. 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, New York.