The Rev. Leonard Felton, 66, a retired Elder, died Sept. 3, 2015, after a long illness. A Home-going Celebration Service was held Sept. 10 at St. Paul UMC in Oxon Hill.
Leonard Felton was born May 19, 1949, in Norfolk, Va., the son of the late Rev. Dr. Hilton C. and Lenora (Phillips) Felton. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, and, in 1967, attended Bethune Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida. While there, he received his calling into the ministry.
He received a degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore and an M. Div from Wesley Theological Seminary. He was conferred a Doctor’s of Divinity from Jameson Bible Institute in Philadelphia.
His pastorates included Van Buren UMC, 1977-1981, Union Memorial UMC in Baltimore, 1981-1985, where he first established his reputation as a leader and administrator for church growth, He was then appointed to the Olivet-Zion Charge in Ellicott City in 1985, followed a year later to St. Paul UMC in Oxon Hill. There he completed construction of the $1.5 million edifice and education wing. And there, 20 men and women were ordained into ministry; most, serving within the Baltimore-Washington Conference, became pastors, Elders and a District Superintendent. He remained there until 1999, when he was appointed to New Life UMC in Baltimore, and in July 2003, he became senior pastor of both New Life UMC and the historical Sharp Street UMC, forming a Cooperative Parish, which he served until he went on incapacity leave in 2004. He retired in 2014.
Felton was a man with many talents, a skilled musician (piano, trumpet and psalmist) and a musical composer.
He held many honors, including as a Crusade Scholar, Most Outstanding Young Men of America, Prince George’s County Community Leadership award, and the John H. Satterwhite award from the Association of Black Seminarians. He was a member of and former president of the Baltimore-Washington Conference Black Methodists for Church Renewal; served on the Baltimore Conference and District Boards of Ordained Ministry; a member of NAACP; a charter member of Collective Banking Group of Maryland; Prince George’s County Interfaith Action Communities; Coalition of Concerned Black Christian Men (PG County); Past Vice-President of Black Seminarians at Wesley Seminary; and President of the Philosophy Club at Morgan State University. He served on the Council of Bishops’ Anti-Drug and Violence Initiative, and was a counselor for those with substance abuse addiction, an in-house counselor for emotionally disturbed children and a consultant to pre-release inmates in their transition from prison to community life.
Survivors include his wife Lisa Toles Felton; daughters, Felicia A. Hasty of Portsmouth, Va., and Diana C. Bowman of Towson; a stepdaughter, Chanelle N. Boone and stepson, Charles T. Boone; six grandchildren, three brothers, two sisters, and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
Condolences may be sent to his wife, Lisa Felton, 3731 Bonnybridge Place, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Morgan State University Christian Center, 700 E. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251.