More than 1,000 people were on hand to bid farewell to the Rev. Dr. Edward V. Hill II on Aug. 24, at West Angeles Church of God in Christ.
Hill, the pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and Spirit of Zion Fellowship Church, passed away suddenly on August 12, at the age of 52.
The ecumenical crowd contained a wide range of clergy and lay people, who wept, shouted, danced and rejoiced throughout the spirit-filled service, which included music by the combined choirs of Mount Zion and Spirit of Zion. The Rev. Dr. Melvin V. Wade Sr., pastor emeritus of Mount Moriah Baptist Church, and the Rev. Dr. Robert A. Williams, pastor of McCoy Memorial Baptist Church, officiated the service.
The scores of tributes and resolutions from the faith community and elected officials illustrated Hill’s reach. Pastor Welton Pleasant II, president of the California State Baptist Convention, said, “We will miss the presence and work of Dr. E.V. Hill II. He embraced bapticostal. He had a legacy of humility.”
The Right Rev. Clyde Romalaine, international bishop of South Africa, said, “Edward knew how to love. He was concerned about you. He was always the same. He didn’t change. He contended for the faith.”
Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church, described Hill as “a man full of Holy Ghost. The Lord gives and takes away. He takes us from pain, heartache, and troubles. God brings us to a place prepared for us. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Hill’s son, Edward III, remembered his father as a “great role model, who gave so much love and support” to him. He closed his remarks by leading the congregation in one of his father’s favorite hymns, “I Need Thee Every Hour.”
Several speakers shared moving reflections of Hill’s legacy including L.A. Councilmember Curren Price, the Rev. Dr. Joe B. Harwick, president of the Western Baptist State Convention; Pastor Alan Patterson of the Corinth Church in Houston, Texas; Evangelist Wanda Davis and Mrs. Melba Patterson. Also, Bishop Noel Jones, Kurt Carr, Bishop Henry Hearns and Bishop Hezekiah Walker extended video salutes.
At the beginning of his message, COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. cited the long friendship between the Hill and Blake families, which began when Blake moved to L.A. in 1969 to serve as pastor of West Angeles.
“My father, who lived in San Diego, was acquainted with Dr. E.V. Hill Sr. and He asked Dr. Hill to watch out for me. Dr. Hill came to my office and a lifelong friendship began. Time and time again, the Hill family was there for the Blake family,” said Blake.
“Dr. E.V. Hill II shared and perpetuated the friendship that his father and I had established. Lady Mae (Blake) and I have known him since he was a small boy. He was a great student and he became a great preacher and pastor. He was loved and admired by thousands of people. He was a deeply spiritual person who believed in prayer and the anointing team of the spirit,” noted the bishop.
In addition to his son, Hill’s survivors include his wife, Tisa; sister Norva; and many other relatives and friends.