COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL)- South Columbus is in mourning after hearing about the loss of a Columbus pastor who was well known for his prominent leadership in the community.

Civic and community leader, Rev. Walter Phillips Sr. pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church of Columbus has passed away, he was 87 years old.

“He believed that his call to ministry was a lifetime appointment, and said that God is the only person that could have retired him. He fulfilled that and he walked it out, he stood the test of time, and he stayed in his position until death. I think that’s an encouragement to those of us who are left here,” said his Granddaughter Danielle Taylor.

Phillips who was known as the oldest senior pastor in Columbus left behind a legacy, where he served as pastor to Pleasant Grove Baptist for more than 30 years since 1985, until his decline in health.

The Religious stalwart was a staple in his community, and his work helped to change countless lives for the better, influencing a decrease in crime in the community, and feeding the less fortunate in the area, but he will always be remembered for his highly esteemed character.

“There are so many families, different businesses, and relationships that were birthed out of his ministry. He was definitely one of those pastors that was hands on anything that needed to be done. He was not one to just delegate it, and say here you do it but he really led by example,” said Taylor.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the staff of Taylor Funeral Home.