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Rev. Luke Powery named dean of Duke University Chapel

The Herald Sun
August 1, 2012

Luke Powery named dean of Duke University Chapel

The Rev. Dr. Luke Powery understands the symbolism of his appointment as the new dean of Duke Chapel. 

“I hope my very presence even without saying a word will be a sign of hope for those who have been marginalized and on the fringes of society,” said Powery, who will become the first black dean of Duke Chapel. 

“I hope my very presence will be a sign of hope to those that may be hopeless.”

Powery, who has taught at Princeton Theological Seminary since 2006, succeeds Sam Wells, who returned to English this summer to become vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. 

While the chapel was designed by Julian Abele, one of the first prominent African-American architects, its congregation was segregated until the civil rights revolution.

Powery said he was “deeply humbled” to be the first black person to lead the congregation and understood that the position comes “with a great responsibility.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity to do ministry in a university context which also takes the larger community very seriously,” he said from his home in New Jersey.

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