Until 2020, reaching the commitment stage was slow going. But her feelings deepened in the summer of 2019, when she was admitted to Duke University Hospital for spinal fusion surgery. Mr. Macon sat with Mrs. Powell in the hospital waiting room throughout the procedure. “I learned all about Jenay from her mom’s perspective, how she always makes sure she’s there for other people,” he said. “It was impressive.”
Dr. Powell is one of the founders of the White Coats, Black Doctors Foundation, which aims to promote better diversity in the medical profession. She currently serves as the executive director.
Dr. Powell knew by the start of the pandemic that when Mr. Macon was ready to commit, she would be, too.
When she learned in the spring of 2021 that she could complete her medical training at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, where she is now a resident in internal medicine, Mr. Macon arranged a getaway to Cancun, Mexico “to celebrate her accomplishment.” On June 5, he bent on one knee and asked her to marry him.
Their New Year’s Eve wedding for 230 vaccinated guests at the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, was officiated by her childhood pastor, Silvester Scott Beaman, now a bishop with the African Methodist Episcopal Church and based in South Africa; he gave the benediction at President Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration. “I love his voice,” Dr. Powell said. “Having him there was so moving.”
Dr. Powell’s father, Dr. John Anderson Powell, Jr., died of synovial sarcoma, a type of cancer, in 2012. Mr. Macon’s stepfather, Lawrence Maurice Lindsay, died in 2019 after suffering several strokes. The couple reserved seats for both men at the ceremony; Mr. Macon’s mother, Tammy Macon Lindsay, sat beside the one reserved for her late husband.