|Father Richard L. Marquess-Barry|
The Norland Post Office building will be dedicated to Father Richard L. Marquess-Barry at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 31. The Norland Post Office is located at 18640 NW 2 Avenue in Miami. Employees are reminded that the dedication is an off-the-clock activity.
In December 2014, the Honorable Frederica S. Wilson, Member of Congress, 24th District of Florida, introduced legislation to dedicate this facility to Father Marquess-Barry who has been an ordained priest in the Episcopalian church for 39 years. The bill was signed into law.
Currently, Father Marquess-Barry has served as the pastor of Miami's Historic Saint Agnes Episcopal Church where he has contributed to bettering the lives of his congregation and community. He has earned a well-respected reputation for bridging the divide between people of various races and religions and of uplifting the downtrodden and underprivileged.
He was born on November 14, 1940, in Miami, to Bahamian immigrants. He attended the Miami-Dade County Public School system and graduated from Northwestern Senior High School He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at St. Augustine College in Raleigh, NC, in 1962. That same year, he married Virla Rolle, his college sweetheart. The couple has been married for 52 years and has one daughter and two grandsons.
His lifelong devotion to the church began in 1965 when he became the only person of color enrolled at the Virginia Theological Seminary. Three years later, he earned a Master's degree in Divinity, and in 1989, he was the youngest person to earn a Doctorate of Divinity degree in the 200-year history of the Virginia Theological Seminary. He has been a visiting fellow at the University of Munich in Germany as well as at Oxford University in England.
As a young priest, he served his community religiously and also dedicated himself to furthering civil rights despite numerous assassination attempts. He led the effort to integrate the St. Lucie County Public School system. He also pressured the city of Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County to adopt fair hiring and promotion practices within the police and fire departments and within all other government agencies. He has also been a champion of improving housing options for underprivileged people in the South Florida community.