Friends & family remember legendary minister, politician - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Friends & family remember legendary minister, politician

Reverend Kenneth Whalum Senior leaves behind of lifetime of impressions.

"He was real, said what he meant, meant what he said, whether you liked it or not," says Reverend Marcus Cosby.

The 73-year-old pastor, who died on Monday, was well known for being exceedingly generous and often brutality honest.

He was a man who spent a lifetime breaking racial barriers as a postal service employee, a Memphis city councilman and pastor.

Throughout the turbulent 60's Whalum raised three gifted sons, Kevin Whalum, renowned Saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and Kenneth Whalum Junior, who weathered a controversial transition into his father's shoes as pastor of Olivet Baptist Church.

"How can I adequately eulogize one who so masterfully eulogized so many," says Kirk.

Whalum's contributions to the city of Memphis extended far beyond the pulpit of his inner city church. He was a friend to many, a stranger to none.

"When you went to Ken Whalum's house he would not invite you into a dining room that was properly set, he would invite you into the kitchen where the pot was on," says Rev. Dr. William A. Lawson.

There was no body to grieve over at Saturday's memorial service. Whalum donated his body to science to further medical research.

Friends say Kenneth Whalum Senior lived his motto, "I'd rather wear out than rust out".

Click here to email Anna Marie Hartman.

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