Robert J. Powell was born in Benoit, Mississippi in 1932. Educated at Louisiana State University (B.M. in Organ and Composition) and Union Theological Seminary's School of Sacred Music (M.S.M.), Powell has had a long and distinguished career as a church musician, organist, and composer. He was the organist and choir director at Christ Episcopal Church (Greenville, South Carolina) for thirty‑four years. He has also held similar positions at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (New York, New York), St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Meriden, Mississippi), St. Paul's School (Concord, New Hampshire), and Trinity United Methodist Church (Greenville, South Carolina). Powell holds the Fellow and Choirmaster certificates from the American Guild of Organists. He has published more than 500 compositions for organ, choir, and handbells. His service music for the Episcopal Church has entered the standard liturgical repertoire and his music is sung and heard throughout the world every Sunday.