Dr. Leon Finney Jr., Chicago pastor and civic leader, dead at 82

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Longtime Chicago pastor and civic leader Dr. Leon Finney Jr. has died. He was 82.

Dr. Finney died Friday morning at the University of Chicago Hospital, his family said.

He was the founding pastor at Christ Apostolic Church, which later took over and restored the Metropolitan Church in Bronzeville.

"He's a guy who had four, five jobs at any one time and on top of that he decided he wanted to be a minister," said James Montgomery, Dr. Finney's friend. "He was a loss to the community as a community organizer and as a person who cared for his people."

Finney also founded the Woodlawn Organization and fought to revitalize the South Side neighborhood through economic and housing development. He also owned Leon's BBQ, Urban Broadcast Media and taught at several universities.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) said Finney was his professor at the McCormick Theological Seminary. In a statement, Rush called him "an organizer's organizer, who was on the frontline of change throughout the land."
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