Powers, Levi Moore

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Levi Moore Powers was born on Mar. 21, 1864, in Newry, Me. As a child, he attended the Union Church at Newry Corner (then a Methodist congregation) but resisted the orthodox doctrine of hell he heard preached there. He attended Gould Academy in Bethel and Maine Wesleyan Seminary at Kent's Hill. In 1884, he was first introduced to Universalist teachings at the Congress Square Universalist Church in Portland. In September of that same year, he enrolled at Tufts in a four-year course combining college and theological study. He taught school for two years in the middle of his program and graduated and was ordained in 1890. He served Universalist churches in Foxboro, Mass. (1890-91), Somerville, Mass. (First Universalist, 1891-98), Buffalo, N.Y. (First Universalist, 1898-1905), Haverhill, Mass. (1905-13), Gloucester, Mass. (First Universalist, 1913-19), and Washington, D.C. (1919-20). He was married in 1901 to Emma F. Tufts of Somerville, Mass. He received an honorary DD from Tufts University in 1905. He died on Dec. 27, 1920.

Powers had a lifelong interest in books and learning. He often illustrated his lectures with lantern slides. While in Gloucester, he helped preserve the Sargent-Murray-Gilman house. He struggled with and challenged the social issues of his time: economic justice, women's suffrage, pacifism, capital punishment, temperance, socialism, labor relations, and race. His theology continually evolved over the course of his life.

For more information, see his obituaries in the Christian Leader, Feb. 12, 1921, p, 174-184, and Universalist Year Book for 1922, p. 122-123. [Photo (credit: Benj. F. Freeman, Somerville, Mass.) of Powers at a desk: bMS 900/38 (6)]