Ordained to ministry by the United Church of Christ in 1951, Dr. Edward Alton Powers is a coveted minister and educator who commenced his career in 1949 as a pastor in Hamden, Connecticut, and Pleasant Hill, Ohio. After serving seven years as a pastor, he became a secretary of the Department for Youth Work at the Congregational Christian Churches board of home missions for four years and general secretary at the United Church board for homeland ministries for 20 years. From 1980 to 1987, he was a faculty member in the Institute of Management Competency with the American Management Association in New York. Concluding his career in 2015, he was an affiliate faculty member in the New School, a role he held for 34 years.
Drawing upon a doctorate in education from Columbia University, Dr. Powers held several other responsibilities outside of his primary career. He was a partner at Powers, Wayno & Associates from 1987 to 2003 and Cane Powers Consulting from 1986 to 2001. Likewise, he was an administrator and educator at the Sexuality Study of the United Church of Christ in 1977 and chairman of the peace priority team of the United Church of Christ from 1970 to 1975. Earlier in his career, he served as a member of the program board in the Division of Education and Ministry at the National Council of Churches. He has also been a nationally- and internationally-recognized speaker. Dr. Powers is renowned for supporting new clergy in the United Church of Christ, and he notably was the first to receive the Distinguished Teaching Award at the New School in 1987. Authoring several books and articles, he maintains affiliation with the Judson Memorial Church, the Great Books Club and the Yale Club.
Among the exceptional highlights of his career, Dr. Powers is proudest of his work in recognizing the LGBT community in the 1970s during a time when stigma and oppression of gay men and women were escalating. Working for the United Church of Christ during that time, Dr. Powers was mentored by the president of the church who suggested that Dr. Powers conduct a system-wide study of the LGBT community within the church. Completing the study between 1975 and 1977, Dr. Powers presented his findings to the national decision body, who concluded that everyone – regardless of gender or sexual orientation – was welcome in the church. Dr. Powers notes that this was a landmark decision that altered the acceptance of the LGBT community for years to come.
Married with three children and three grandchildren, Dr. Powers currently resides in New York. He enjoys reading, hiking and participating in book clubs in his spare time.
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