Dr. Leon Finney Jr. funeral Saturday; Chicago pastor founded Woodlawn Organization

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Sunday, September 27, 2020
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Dr. Leon Finney Jr.'s funeral was Saturday morning. The Chicago pastor died earlier this month.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The funeral for longtime Chicago pastor and civic leader Dr. Leon Finney Jr. was held Saturday morning.

Finney died Sept. 4 at the University of Chicago Hospital, his family said. He was 82.

The funeral was held at Apostolic Faith Church after a visitation.

"He was a servant to God, a servant to his community, a servant to his friends and a servant to his family," Finney's daughter Kristin Finney-Cooke said.

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

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

"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, 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-Chicago, 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."