A Charge to Keep I Have, A God to Glorify, A Never-dying soul to save And fit it for the sky.
2 Timothy 4:7-9
I have fought the good fight I have finished the race I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day —and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
The Journey Begins
Reverend Robert James Rumley II was a native of York, Alabama and the eldest son of three children born to the late Deacon Robert “Bob” and Tama E. Rumley. Young Rev. Rumley enjoyed his mother’s home cooking along with his brother, Curtis and sister, Dora as well as playing sports. During his formative years, Rev. Rumley stood tall on both the football field and the basketball court while matriculating through the Sumter County Public Schools system. He ultimately graduated from West End High School in York where he received Varsity letters as both a Tight-End (Football) and Forward (Basketball). After High School, Rev Rumley attended Mobile State Junior College where he earned the required credits to transfer to Florida A&M University where he received his B.S. degree in Math in 1976.
As many of his contemporaries would attest, when life called, Reverend R.J. Rumley answered. To that end, Rev. Rumley accepted the call into the ministry and was ordained in 1972 under the pastorage of his late family pastor, Rev. J.E. Sheffield, at Friendship Baptist Church in York, AL. Shortly thereafter he migrated to Wildwood, New Jersey, and joined both the Wildwood Police Force as well as the ministerial staff of Ashbury A.M.E. Church under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. Elijah McGhee. Ultimately landing in Cardiff with his young family in 1975, Rev. Rumley made the decision to complete his undergraduate studies at Florida A&M University (’76) and subsequently enrolling at Interdenominational Theological Center where he was conferred a Masters in Divinity in 1979. Rev. Rumley received many awards and accolades during studies at ITC including the Dr. James H. Clark Preaching Award on April 17, 1979.
Newly charged in the A.M.E. church, Rev. Rumley was assigned his first Circuit outside of the Tallahassee area soon after his graduation from FAMU. With his studies at I.T.C. becoming increasingly demanding, the Bishop in Florida ensured that he was transferred to the South Carolina area – Friendship A.M.E. Church in Clinton, SC where he met his mentor, the late Bishop Frank Madison Reid Jr. Under Bishop Reid, Rev. Rumley was assigned to the Beaufort Circuit and served the congregations of Allen Chapel AME Church in Burton and Grace Chapel AME Church in downtown Beaufort until October 1985.
On November 1, 1985 Rev. Rumley and his family relocated to the 9th Episcopal District, West Alabama Conference, Allen Temple AME Church in Bessemer Alabama. Being a son of the soil and a native Alabamian, Rev. Rumley was thrilled to be back at home. He faithfully served several congregations over the course of thirty five years—from Jones Chapel AME Church in Fairfield-to St. Matthews AME Church in Greensboro, then on to St. Luke AME Church in Birmingham. The next assignment was to Nichols Temple AME Church in the Ensley area of Birmingham and his final charge was that of St. Paul AME Church in Mobile Alabama.
Rev. Dr. R. J. Rumley, II was a prophetic messenger of God whom he served faithfully from the time he was a young lad in York, Alabama. He was God’s messenger for 48 years. A
On Saturday, May 23, 2020, after an extended illness, he heard God’s voice once
again. This time, though, God said, “Come unto me and I will give you rest.” Our Heavenly father made a request that His servant come to a prepared place for him and Rev. R.J. Rumley peacefully accepted the call surrounded by family.
The Curtain Closes
The Reverend Robert J. Rumley II leaves to cherish his life, love, legacy and memories, Wife, Brenda P. Rumley, Birmingham Alabama; five children; Yolanda R. Howsie, of Pittsburg Pa; Robin Duncan of Miami Florida; Robert James Rumley III of Atlanta Georgia, (MaKara); Daniel Maurice Rumley of Birmingham Alabama and Robert C. Porter of Dover Delaware.
One brother Mr. Curtis R. Rumley, Trussville Alabama, (Marian); one sister Angela Rumley Jenkins, Beaufort South Carolina, (Henry), one sister-in-law, Shirley Wilkins Bowser, Dover, Delaware and one sister who preceded him in death, Dora Rumley Williams of Tuskegee Alabama.
Six Grandchildren; Elliott and Evan, (Yolanda); Chace, Robert and River, (Robert III and MaKara); GiGi (Robin).
Extended family including Mrs. Rosie Kennedy Rumley-Elder, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and Cousin Joe Tarvin.