The Chief Executive Rabbi of the oldest and largest congregation of African Americans ascribing to the tenants of Chief Rabbi Jehu August Crowdy, Jr., Executive Leader of the Church of God and Saints of Christ, passed this life on Sunday, April 10, 2016. He was the Executive Leader of the Church for fourteen (14) years following his predecessor, Rabbi Levi Solomon Plummer. Rabbi Crowdy is survived by his wife, St. Christel; children, St. LaToia, Sis. Taylor, and Bro. Jehu, III; sister, St. Jesyl Crowdy-Volkens; brother-in-law, Elder Asher Volkens; nieces, Sis. Leah Mattie and Sis. Rachel Lovey; mother, St. Sylvia W. Crowdy; aunts, St. Mary Elizabeth Crowdy and St. Audrey Wooten; cousins, relatives, and friends. He leaves to cherish his precious memory a host of devoted congregants throughout the United States, Africa, and Jamaica.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, April 20, 2016; 4300 Judah Lane, Suffolk, VA 23435.
A pilgrimage of thousands of congregants will converge on Northern Suffolk this Wednesday. The religious organization, the Church of God and Saints of Christ, Temple Beth El, has been a part of the fabric of Hampton Roads for more than a century.
The church’s re-establisher, the great grandfather of the deceased, William Saunders Crowdy was a runaway slave who purchased 40 acres of land near route 17 in 1903, to build a church home for the organization’s members. That land was a place of refuge for generations of Blacks who created a self-sufficient town once revered as Belleville, VA. Through some of the most turbulent times for people of color in U.S. history; Belleville was a Mecca for the disenfranchised.
For the past 14 years, the late Rabbi Jehu A. Crowdy, Jr. , known for his kind and gentle manner of leadership, continued the legacy of his heritage living a spiritual life of service to a multitude of people while developing the land of his fathers for the betterment of all mankind.