Diminutive in size but a giant of a man in words, deeds and spirit is how the Rev. Lewis Anthony was remembered throughout his homegoing ceremony Saturday, June 3 at Union Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church in Northeast.
Anthony died May 28, at his mother’s home in Ft. Washington, Maryland, following an extended illness. He was 65.
Family, friends and clergy representing a cross-section of denominations filled the main sanctuary and auxiliary spaces of Union Wesley to bid the man whose eloquent speaking skills and profound messages captivated many Washingtonians for decades.
A third-generation Washingtonian, Anthony graduated from Anacostia High School, Columbia University and Harvard University School of Law. Throughout his lifetime, he demonstrated his calling of service to others by speaking to large audiences at commencements at many D.C. public high schools, as well as to the homeless person on the street if he felt they needed encouragement. He was a favorite speaker at Howard University’s Rankin Memorial Chapel and a renowned speaker for a host of D.C. government agencies and community organizations throughout the city.
Anthony’s public service began at an early age when he led a movement to build a new Shaw Junior High School in the District. He delivered a speech at the dedication of the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Northeast and was later appointed the District’s first youth representative and youth adviser to D.C. Mayor Walter E. Washington.
He served as an adviser to D.C. Mayor Marion Barry and as the director of the Congressional District Office of Congressman Walter E. Fauntroy.
A fourth-generation member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) denomination, he was a leader, teacher and pastor of several AMEZ congregations in the D.C. and Baltimore areas. Most recently he pastored at Full Gospel A.M.E. Zion Church in Temple Hills, Maryland.
His mother, Marlene Anthony Carter, described her son as “very special.” She said she knew very early that he was destined for greatness, and by the size and response of those who came to bid him farewell, he didn’t disappoint her. He was loved and admired by many. He is also survived by his brother Orlando, sister-in-law Lynn Anthony and a host of relatives.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser proclaimed June 3 as Rev. Dr. Lewis M. Anthony Day in the city.