Harmon Roosevelt Claiborne

Harmon Roosevelt Claiborne was born to the late Willie and Mary Claiborne on May 1, 1935 in Lawrenceville, Virginia. He was the fourth of seven children born to this union. It was in Lawrenceville where he was raised and educated, completing his education at the James Solomon Russell High School. The family attended the Union Bethel Reformed Zion Union Apostolic Churches of America (RZUA) Church in Freeman, Virginia under the leadership of Reverend D.N. Hicks.

From his early childhood, he had a deep passion for the singing of gospel music. At a young age, he and his brothers George and Otis along with their uncle Willie Brown formed a group called the Royal Light Gospel Singers.

Upon relocating to Boston, Massachusetts in 1968, he and his family joined the Morning Star Baptist Church under the Pastorate of Reverend Elisha Gilbert. After having been a member of Morning Star for only two years, he was ordained as a deacon in 1970. In addition the Diaconate and Music Ministries, he worked in many areas of the church.

In 1981 Pastor Claiborne joined the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church as a charter member under the leadership of its first pastor, the late Reverend Walter A. Stevenson. At Antioch, he served as a deacon, church clerk, Sunday school teacher and president of the choir. In July of 1988, Deacon Claiborne married Thelma White Graham and they have continued their spiritual journey.

In 1989, he was licensed by Antioch and ordained in 1990 by his Pastor, Reverend Walter A. Stevenson. In 1991, Reverend Stevenson suggested that Reverend Claiborne spread himself and plant his own seed as pastor.

Acting on the suggestion of Reverend Stevenson, he and two other preachers decided to let God lead them through singing together. In addition to singing, they preached together; they were blessed to start Preachers – N – Concert at 302 Columbia Road in Dorchester. The Preachers – N – Concert consisted of: Reverend Frank Murray, the late Reverend Lee Mitchell, Reverend James Gaylord and the late Bishop Eddie Hollins, they became known as Preachers – N – Concert. Not only did they great singing but, they also had three men of God to spread God’s “WORD”. Jeremiah 3:15 states, I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Preachers – N- Concert leaders were Reverend Harmon R. Claiborne, Reverend Lee Mitchell and the late Bishop Eddie Hollins. Reverend Claiborne has always had a passion for singing. He sang with Spirit of Joy, Spiritual Vibrations and also he released two of his own CD’s of Easy Listening Gospel. On one of the releases was his own choir that he directed at Antioch. The name of the group was N-Retro which included his brother the late George Claiborne and Gene Claiborne, his son, with musicians: the last the late Kevin Davis, Elbert Vines and Paul Gifllian.

Upon the death of Rev. Stevenson in 1995, Reverend Claiborne was led by the spirit of God, and the members for him to return home and be the leader of Antioch. In October 26, 1995, he was led to feed his flock at 1082 Blue Hill Avenue has been. His flock and strive to conquer his vision. Because of the fellowship, the love, the obedience, and the willingness to serve God, Pastor Claiborne kept Antioch Missionary Baptist Church strong, and with great determination to work for Unity in God’s will.

Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your master according to the flesh; not with eye services, as men pleases; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.

Reverend Claiborne leaves to cherish his memories his devoted wife of 32 years, Thelma Claiborne; his sisters: Mary Mckinnon and Fannie Louise Trusty; 8 surviving children; a host of grand, great grand, great- great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and family and friends. He also leaves behind a special son-in-law, Clarence Carleton, his buddy and his God-daughter, Andrea Raye.