SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Just like the light shining through Conner's Temple Baptist Church's window, it's Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bennie R. Mitchell Jr. has been the beacon of light to the community for nearly 40 years. Sadly, Pastor Mitchell passed away early Tuesay morning while at home.
"He had kidney problems. He was on dialysis three times a week and things just failed on him. He just couldn't take it," said Rev. Johnnie Shields, President of the Savannah Baptist Minister's Union.
Dr. Mitchell is considered to be a longtime community and political leader dating all the way back to 1974, when he was first called to pastor the West Gwinnett Street church and joined the Savannah Baptist Minister's Union's Political Action Committee (PAC).
"From that time until his death, he's still been active championing our causes," said fellow preacher and longtime friend Rev. Robert Brown.
"He wasn't afraid in any situation or in any circumstance when it came to standing up for the Gospel, standing up for righteousness, standing up for what was good for people, and standing up for what was helpful for this community," said Rev. Samuel Williams of the Faith Missionary Baptist Church.
Among his many accomplishments, Rev. Bennie Mitchell, Jr. is most known for starting Savannah's Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day Association. The late pastor was also passionate about helping mold younger ministers.
"He was a fine pastor. He always gave us Associate Ministers time to preach. He would sit down and work with us and teach us different things about pastoring and about preaching and teaching," Rev. Shields said.
Rev. Dr. Bennie R. Mitchell, Jr. was 62 years old. funeral arrangements are still pending.