MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Congressman Steve Cohen took to the House floor to deliver remarks on the life and legacy of John Kilzer Wednesday morning.
"John's life was Memphis and John's life was grit and grind," said Cohen.
Musician Kirk Whalum also sent his condolences via Facebook, calling Kilzer his brother and telling people to pray for him as he is grieving the loss of his dear friend.
WMC also spoke with Doctor Scott Morris, the CEO of Church Health and a friend of Kilzer's for more than 20 years.
He said Kilzer was compassionate and had a special way of loving people.
“Most importantly, John just cared about life. He cared about people - he had this amazing ability to take people who are truly in the depths of despair and bring them up and give them hope,” said Morris.
Kilzer was an All-American standout who played for the University of Memphis for three years.
He later became a recording artist, and had his biggest pop hit with "Red Blue Jeans."
Kilzer's music went on hiatus for awhile, as he recovered from alcohol and drug abuse.
He went on to attend seminary, was ordained and joined the staff of St. John United Methodist Church. There, he performed each Friday night at a service called "The Way." It was a ministry to recovering people as well as the homeless.
St. John's United Methodist Church plans to open its doors Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m. for anyone needing a place to grieve.
The church will also have grief counselors available.