Dr. Jerome McNeil (pictured), leader of the historic 150-year-old Dallas institution the Christian Chapel Temple of Faith CME Church, preached his usual passionate and animated sermon on Sunday morning, exited his pulpit, then, seconds later, collapsed and died in the sanctuary, reports the Daily Mail.
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McNeil, who was 63-years-young, was the senior pastor of the one of the oldest African-American churches in Dallas for more than 20 years. Under his leadership, the church’s membership grew to more than 7,000, making it one of the largest in the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) denomination.
McNeil ‘s life served as a testament of hard work and dedication. He held a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and used it to serve troubled youths and families in crisis. McNeil was hired as the highest-ranking African American in Dallas County in 1981, when he was named Assistant Director for the Dallas County Juvenile Department.
In 1983, he became the first African-American Family Court Investigator and Counselor for Dallas County.