The Rev. Martin L. McKenney, 84, a retired Elder, who served as superintendent of the Annapolis District from 1992 to 1994, died Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, after years of illness. A memorial service was held Nov. 20, at St. Paul UMC in Oxon Hill. TheRev. Daryl Williamsofficiated and the Rev.Rodney Smothers gave the eulogy. Other participating pastors included District Superintendent Evan D. Young, the Revs. Sylvester Gaines and Robert Rodeffe.r
Martin Luther McKenney was born May 12, 1933, the only child of the late Rev. Martin McKenney and Allean Frazier McKenney. He was raised by his parents and grandmother in Gloucester County, Virginia. He graduated from high school in Merchantville, New Jersey, and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He served four years during the Korean War, then entered Morgan State College in Baltimore, graduating in 1959.
He entered Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta for one year, where he often visited and listened to the sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Ebenezer Church. He received his MDiv from Wesley Theological Seminary and was ordained in the former Washington Conference in 1961.
He and Nampeo Dorothy “Dot” Ross married in 1961 and had two children.
McKenney’s first church in 1961 was Union in Westminster, then in 1963, he became associate at Metropolitan in Baltimore. A year later he was appointed to John Wesley in Glen Burnie. He withdrew for two years, then was appointed to serve Central-Summerfield in Baltimore. A year at St. Marks UMC in Hanover, then from 1983-87, he was appointed to Lincoln Park UMC in Washington, D.C. He moved to Fairhaven Parish in Gaithersburg from 1987-1992, when he was appointed superintendent of the Annapolis District until 1995 and moved to an appointment to Union UMC in Upper Marlboro, where he served until he retired in 1997. He then served interim positions at several churches and in 2011 affiliated as the retired pastor at Saint Paul in Oxon Hill.
His ministries included providing spiritual leadership to diverse groups of people, including to congregations in some of the churches he pastored facing major transitions. He and his wife made a mission trip as short-term missionaries to Sierra Leone. In 1961. he and his wife participated in the March on Washington, and throughout the Civil Rights movement in many Civil Rights activities. In retirement, they loved to travel and went to Russia, the Mediterranean, Central and South America. One of his hobbies was reading World War II history books and autobiographies.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years; daughter Gilesa Allean Black and her husband; son Daniel McKenney; one grandchild; god-children Tyrone Ross Jr. and Patricia Jackson and their spouses; and many others.
Condolences may be sent to his wife, Nampeo D. McKenney, 405 Jones Falls Court, Bowie, MD 20721.