MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An influential Memphis pastor has died.
Dwight Montgomery, pastor of Annesdale Cherokee Baptist Church, passed away Wednesday morning at St. Francis Hospital after a long battle with an undisclosed illness.
In addition to being pastor at his church, Montgomery also served as president of Memphis SCLC. His tenure as a Memphis leader was marked by his passion to fight for affordable healthcare, high-quality schools, affordable housing, workers' rights, and civil rights.
"I really believe he lived a life that left a legacy for younger people to live up to, to look up to," Rev. Keith Williams said.
Williams considered Montgomery one of his best friends, a mentor, and a brother. Williams last spoke to Montgomery on Friday.
"He actually took me through the entire schedule for the SCLC in 2018," Williams said. "Looking back now--hindsight 20/20--I can agree with his secretary that all of his business had been fixed."
SCLC's President and CEO Dr. Charles Steele released the following statement on Montgomery's passing:
Dr. Steele said Thursday he had a close relationship with Dr. Montgomery. He said the last time they spoke, Dr. Montgomery was looking forward to the celebrations of MLK 50 and couldn't wait to share Memphis's plans.
He also said that Dr. Montgomery's leadership and memory should serve as an example for leaders everywhere.
"He is the epitome of leadership in terms of the Civil Rights Movement, in terms of being a minister," Dr. Steele said.
Several community leaders and organizations released statements Wednesday on Montgomery's passing.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released the following statement on Thursday:
No funeral arrangements have been shared at this time.