Adam Clayton Powell Jr.: The Uses and Abuses of Charismatic Power

  • Lea E. Williams


Ascending in 1937 to the pulpit of Abyssinian Baptist Church, the largest, richest, and second oldest Baptist congregation in New York City, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. succeeded his father, who had retired after 29 years. He would serve Abyssinian until 1971, retiring a year before his death. Becoming the eighteenth pastor of a mainly conservative congregation in Harlem did not cause Powell to moderate his debonair lifestyle. If anything he became more defiantly determined to live life on his own terms while using his church platform to champion his social action agenda.


Black Community City Council Black Church Grand Jury Black Leader 
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© Lea E. Williams 2009

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  • Lea E. Williams

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