MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Funeral and home-going services have been set for influential Memphis pastor Rev. Ralph White, who died Saturday at age 71.
White was a Memphis activist, and legendary pastor who led the charge towards change in the city.
White served at Bloomfield Baptist for more than three decades and was involved in a number of community organizations, including Citizens for Community Values of Memphis, Convoy of Hope, Baptist Ministerial Association, Religious Alliance Against Pornography and the Shelby County Domestic Violence Task Force.
Pastor Walter Womack called White “a legend in his own right,” while City Councilman Berlin Boyd said White leaves “big shoes to fill.”
“Coming up on our 200th birthday and losing a pillar in this community is very devastating,” Boyd said.
Word spread quickly about the pastor collapsing inside of church on Saturday, doing nothing other than the Lord’s work.
“It was shocking and so sudden because we were just at a meeting last Tuesday,” Womack said.
Most remember White as the pastor who helped turn in Tremaine Wilbourn after officer Sean Bolton was killed in 2015.
“He knew the streets and he would say, ‘Boy get out here, I am going to show you how to get out here in these streets and work,'” Womack said.
He was a pastor who saw a need and worked to fix it.
“If there was crime he would say, ‘Let’s pray,'” Boyd said. “People hungry, he would say, ‘Let’s feed them.'”
He was also the found of the God So Love prayer and Outreach Ministry.
He leaves behind his wife Janet White, three children and seven grandchildren.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee were among the officials who offered condolences on White’s passing.
1st visitation is Thursday, May 30 from 4-6 p.m. at NJ Ford and Sons funeral home on South Parkway and Florida. 2nd Visitation is Friday, May 31 at Bloomfield Baptist Church from 4-6 p.m., and there will be a memorial service from 6-7:30 p.m. Funeral service is Saturday, June 1 at First Baptist Broad at 2385 Broad.
Sadden to learn of the passing of Pastor Ralph White, a good man who leaves a strong legacy for Memphis. I've know him for 25 years and always enjoyed visiting with, and getting advise from, him. My condolences to his family and everyone at Bloomfield Full Gospel Baptist Church. pic.twitter.com/gRbEmORae5
— Mayor Jim Strickland (@MayorMemphis) May 25, 2019
Maria and I send our love and prayers to Rev. Ralph White’s family and the entire Bloomfield FGBC community. His selfless service has made Memphis and our entire state better off.
— Governor Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) May 26, 2019