Missionary Lee Swain Powell

Sunrise: October 16, 1923

Sunset: June 5, 2019

Missionary Lee S. Powell was dedicated to the service of the Lord since she was a young child.  She is the oldest of 12 children of Superintendent H. G. Swain and Mother Sallie J. Swain of Windsor, North Carolina.  

Growing up in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), she developed a foundation in Christianity and the doctrine of the COGIC Church.  As a youth in Sunday school, she was trained to memorize scripture verses. This scripture has always remained in her heart: “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10.

With the encouragement of her parents, Mother Powell was blessed to complete her education at Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  After graduating from college and beginning her teaching career, she married Deacon Gentle C. Powell.  They are the proud parents of Dr. Gwendolyn Powell Todd who is married to Donald J. Todd.  As a lifelong learner, Mother Powell obtained a Master’s Degree from Boston University and continued with post graduate studies at the University of Virginia.  She taught in the North Carolina and Virginia Public School Systems for a total of 43 years.  Mother Powell demonstrated compassion for her students as she imparted academic instruction with the love of Christ.

Missionary and Deacon Powell are members of the New Hope Church of Norfolk, Virginia, where Dr. Calvin Durham is Pastor.  Mother Powell has been a supporter of her local church as well as the state and national church. At the request of Bishop Herman Clark, Mother and Deacon Powell taught exercise classes for seniors who visited the New Hope Christian Community Center, Norfolk, VA. Mother and Deacon Powell would often provide useful items such as toiletries and clothing for the recipients who visit NHCCC. During her service to the national Church, Mother Powell served as Chairperson of the National Advisory Board for the National Business and Professional Women’s Federation (NBPWF).  Under the leadership of Bishop Samuel Green, Jr., she was appointed state President of the Women’s Business and Professional Federation.  She served faithfully at the state level for over 33 years in the Second Jurisdiction of Virginia.  Her passion for young people prompted her to organize, promote and collaboratively work with all Second jurisdictional WBPF leaders.  Her efforts were so successful and rewarding that the workshops and luncheonswere presented each year on the 4th Saturday of the month of September.  

Mother Lee Powell’s life mission has been “Each one, support one in our growth in the Lord!” “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:18-19

Mother Powell will be greatly missed by all of us who knew her.  She was predeceased by her parents, Conora Swain, Melvin Swain, Alberta Swain Washington, Gene Swain, Henry Swain, Jr., and John Swain.  She will be cherished and remembered by her beloved husband, Deacon Gentle C. Powell; her daughter, Dr. Gwendolyn Powell Todd and son-in-law, Donald J. Todd of Jacksonville, FL; five Sisters Velma Goodwyn, of Chesapeake, VA, Gloria Jefferson of Boston, MA, Teresa Bowman (George) of Freeport, NY, Laree Cherry of North Carolina, Joyce Stanley (Reuel) of Illinois; three Sisters-in-law, Ernestine Swain of Virginia Beach, Claudette Swain of MarylandEloise Cherry of North Carolina; a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and many devoted friends of the family.

Viewing Tuesday, June 11, 2019 Metropolitan Funeral Service 7246 Granby Street Norfolk, VA 23505 Wake Service Tuesday, June 11, 2019 6:00pm - 8:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 7246 Granby Street Norfolk, VA 23505 Service Wednesday, June 12, 2019 11:00am New Hope C.O.G.I.C. 3232 Brest Avenue Norfolk, VA 23509 Interment Roosevelt Memorial Park 1101 Campostella Road Chesapeake, VA 23320

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  1. reply
    Linda Scott says

    Our sincerest condolences to Mother Gloria Jefferson and the entire family on the loss of Missionary Powell.
    Bishop Jack &
    Holy Tabernacle Church Family

  2. reply
    Selma Jackson-Chia says

    To the Family,
    May the peace of God bring healing, comfort, and encouragement to your hearts. Let your good memories bring joy knowing Mother Powell is at rest. Love lifted me when nothing else would. Peace I leave with you.
    Love ❤️
    Sis Jackson and son Titus.

  3. reply
    Shirley Price says

    To Gwendolyn Powell Todd and Family,
    Our hearts are filled with sadness for your loss but joy in knowing that while she is absent from the body, she is present with the Lord.
    Shirley&Randall Price

  4. reply
    Dr. L. Diane Bennett says

    My family has known Mother Powell for all of my and my brothers’ lives. For all of that time, Mother Powell has been a stellar example of a strong, determined and professional Black woman. She was a role model for all professional women and we are much better for having her as a part of our lives.

    On behalf of my brother, Deacon Joey Bennett, my Sister-in-Love, Audrey and the entire Sherman Memorial COGIC Family, we loved Mother, appreciated her and will cherish her memory.

    Mother Powell was a phenomenal woman of poise, grace and timeless “spunk”! Her impact will be greatly missed and always remembered.

    Every blessing and comfort-
    Dr. L. Diane Bennett

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