Longtime Los Angeles pastor Edward Victor Hill, who would have celebrated his 42nd anniversary in April as the leader of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, died Feb. 24 after a bout with pneumonia and other undisclosed medical problems, The Los Angeles Times reported. He was 69. Funeral services were held March 8 at West Angeles Cathedral in Los Angeles.
Better known as E.V. Hill, he was hospitalized Feb. 8 and listed in critical condition. In the last eight months, Hill had to preach sitting down because of a condition that had weakened his legs. He suffered also from diabetes, said his son, E.V. Hill II, pastor of Calvary Temple Pentecostal Holiness Church in North Hollywood.
Known as a preacher whose sermons "could thunder with righteousness even as he could listen with a pastor's heart," Hill was a force in the National Baptist Convention, one of the nation's largest African American denominations, and a speaker at Promise Keepers rallies, the Times reported. Despite his Baptist affiliation, he was well-respected in Pentecostal and charismatic circles, and was a frequent guest on Trinity Broadcasting Network's Praise the Lord program.
Bishop Charles Blake, pastor of West Angeles Cathedral and a leader in the Church of God in Christ, called Hill "one of the most significant personalities in the clergy over the past 30 or 40 years."
"He was a great preacher, a tremendous preacher and a common man's theologian," Blake said.
Noting that Time magazine once cited Hill as "one of the most outstanding preachers in the United States," Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell called Hill, who was a civil rights leader and conservative Republican, "a community-minded pacesetter, pro-life leader and moral crusader."
Hill is survived by his second wife, La Dean; a son; daughter; stepson and three grandsons.
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