coronavirus

Archbishop Lucius Hall, Influential Chicago Church Leader, Dies at 87

"Our community has lost a gentle giant." Those close to Archbishop Lucius Hall told NBC 5 that Hall, who had underlying health conditions, tested positive for coronavirus.

Archbishop Lucius Hall, a powerful voice in Chicago’s faith community, has died at age 87.

Hall, who founded the First Church of Love And Faith in 1980 in the city's Auburn Gresham neighborhood and became an influential Chicago church leader, passed away early Thursday, according to friends.

Those close to Hall told NBC 5 he tested positive for coronavirus. Hall's friend of nearly 40 years and caretaker said the archbishop had a number of underlying health conditions.

"He was on dialysis, he was diabetic, and he had heart failure," Associate Minister Douglas Powell said. "They just got the results that he did have COVID-19."

Powell said the last service was held on March 15, and he does not believe other members were exposed.

Spiritual leaders on Thursday focused on Hall's legacy as a pioneer and mentor.

"He’s a gospel music patron, a philanthropist, a people’s person," said Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John Baptist Church. "He's a mentor to ministers, and he’s a preacher’s friend. Our community has lost a gentle giant."

Hall was a member of the Broadcast Ministers Alliance, producing a weekly spiritual program with other ministers and co-host Pam Morris, who remembers him as a unifier.

"He's done a magnificent job in blessing others and always connecting people," Morris said. "He brought together judges, pastors, civic leaders ... and brought resources to his own community."

"For 30-40 years they’ve done outreach ministries, food pantries, things to help the homeless, and so he is known in that way," said Bishop Horace Smith of Apostolic Faith Church.

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