By Kirk Petersen

The funeral for Colin Powell, the former secretary of state and lifelong Episcopalian who died October 18, will be held Friday at the Washington National Cathedral. The cathedral will provide a live stream.

TLC took note of Powell’s faith as an Episcopalian in 1996, in a review of his memoir, My American Journey. The review said: “Gen. Powell grew up in St. Margaret’s, the neighborhood parish [in the South Bronx] where he served as an acolyte and came to love the splendor of Anglo-Catholic liturgy. ‘The higher the church, the closer to God; that was how I saw it.'” The original edition is out of print, but an updated version was published in 2003.

The Rev. Theodora Brooks and Gen. Colin Powell | Facebook

These days, the Rev. Theodora N. Brooks is priest-in-charge at St. Margaret’s. On her personal Facebook page is a picture of her walking with Powell and others toward the church after dedication of the nearby General Colin Powell Apartment Complex in 2010.

“He loved his church and he never forgot it,” Brooks said. “There are people in the congregation who still remember him, remember his parents.” She did not know the exact years when he attended as a child. Powell graduated from high school in 1954.

Out of respect for privacy, Brooks declined to answer some questions about the church’s relationship with Powell, but said he had visited the church on other occasions.

“Like the rest of the world, our hearts are broken,” she said, but “he has left with us every reason to walk tall, and so many lessons, when it comes to service and living out our faith.”

When Powell died, Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry issued a statement:

I recall fondly having breakfast with him a couple years ago. He became energized and passionate about his work with the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, which is part of his alma mater, The City College of New York.

He cared about people deeply. He served his country and humanity nobly. He loved his family and his God unswervingly. As Jesus says in the New Testament, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.