Harrington, Robert

10/27/2003

Jan. 13, 1913 - Oct. 27, 2003
 
Pastor Harrington was born in Clover, South Carolina, and lived in New Orleans for the past 50 years. He attended Claflin College, Gammon Theological Seminary and the School of Theology at Boston University. While at Claflin he headed an eight-piece orchestra called Rudy Harrington and His Collegians. At Gammon Seminary he sang with four choral groups, including the Symphonic Chorus and the Clark-Gammon Male Quartet. At Boston University, he was a member of the Seminary Singers.
After graduating from Boston University, Pastor Harrington was pastor in Bamberg and Beaufort, South Carolina, where he also served as principal of the Hardeeville Elementary School. After serving briefly as a pastor in Savannah, Georgia, he became a chaplain with the Army. He served during World War II and attained the rank of major before leaving the service in 1945.
He was the dean of chapel at Wiley College and a religion teacher at Dillard University. In 1948, he was named president of Sam Houston College in Austin, Texas, becoming one of the nation's youngest college presidents. He returned to New Orleans in 1953, where he served as administrative assistant to five bishops in the Methodist Church.
He was pastor of Mount Zion Methodist Church in 1947, and was appointed pastor of the church again in 1958. During his pastorate, church membership grew to more than 1,300 people, and he oversaw the expansion of the church on Louisiana Avenue.
He was the first black superintendent of the merged Louisiana Annual Conferences A and B. For the past 30 years, he hosted a radio series and television program on WWL called "Lift for Life." Pastor Harrington received numerous awards and served on many boards and community activities.
Survivors include his wife, Sylvia Norman Harrington; a stepson, Mose Pleasure; two stepdaughters, Monique J. Brass and Raychell J. Richard; a sister, Janie Harrington Pearson of Dayton, Ohio; and five grandchildren.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 2004