Michael L. Powell, aged 68, passed from this life to the Heavenly home he so often preached about at 2:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 11, 2021 at his home in Texarkana, Texas. The love of his life, Naomi, was at his side.
Michael was born March 25, 1952 in Yuba City, California to Jesse Lee Powell and Constance Bivens Powell. Michael’s early years were spent in the California Bay Area. His father accepted a pastorate in Bakersfield, California when Michael was ten and another in Arcata, California when he was fourteen. Michael graduated from Arcata High School in 1970 and became a bus driver for the district.
At a 1973 youth rally in Oregon, Michael first met the love of his life, Naomi Kidwell from The Dalles, Oregon. He proposed at Christmas of that same year, and they married in 1974. Later, a baby girl, Cheryl, joined the family. Michael was adamant that he wanted a girl. He jokingly said if it was a boy, he was sending it back.
Michael and Naomi quickly answered the call into the ministry. Over their fifty-year ministry, the Powells held numerous pastorates as well as local and state church leadership positions that allowed them to affect many lives throughout California and Colorado. They also carried out many evangelistic assignments taking them across the country. People often described Michael as “a man of God with the heart of King David.”
While the ministry was his priority, Michael also had a love for music and playing the guitar. He began playing at the age of twelve, when his grandmother bought him his first guitar and continued until shortly before he was called home. For all those years, Michael only played for God. His music room was a special place. On any given day you could find as many as 15 fellow musicians playing songs of faith; or you might find Michael and his guitar buddy, Joe Porter, getting together for a jam session; or, more often, you might find just Michael with his guitar spending time alone with God.
A man of many gifts and talents, Michael was also a professional truck driver for 50 years. The final 20 years, he transported equipment for the military and was extremely honored to do so. However, Michael also used this profession to spread the gospel message. Whether it was to other drivers he met along the way, dock workers, waitresses, employers, or the homeless man in the truck stop parking lot, Michael was always ready with an encouraging word about God’s love and a hot meal when needed.
Michael is preceded in death by his parents and his grandmother, Wilma Bivens, who was his mentor and biggest supporter.
Michael is survived by Naomi, his loving and faithful wife of 47 years; his only daughter and son-in-law, Cheryl and Alan Butler of Texarkana, Texas; as well as a great number of spiritual sons, daughters, and grandchildren Michael claimed and loved as his own.