SOUTH LOS ANGELES — A musical concert and memorial service will be held at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. for Edward V. Hill II, who pastored both Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church and Spirit of Zion. Funeral services are scheduled for Aug. 24 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ at 10 a.m. Both services are open to the public.
Hill died Aug. 12 at his home. He was 52.
The son of famed preacher/evangelist E.V. Hill — once honored by Time Magazine as one of the seven most outstanding preachers in the United States and by Ebony Magazine as one of the 15 greatest black preachers — Hill had forged success in his own right and was a frequent speaker at churches around the country.
“E. V. Hill II was a true follower of Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr., presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ and senior pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ. “I am proud to say that he was a dear and beloved friend of mine and of each member of my family. My world has diminished since he is no longer in it.”
“We are in shock,” said Pastor K.W. Tulloss, president of the Baptist Minister’s Fellowship. “E.V. Hill held a special place in the faith community aside from his father, though preaching was in his DNA. That he was both Apostolic and Baptist made for a powerful combination and he was not only a huge supporter of clergy but a tremendous prayer warrior.”
“He was regarded as a gentle giant,” said Pastor Michael Fisher. “One who took the mantle of his father and carried it with grace.“
Hill, who was born and reared in Los Angeles, found his passion early in the church.
“My sister says I got it easy from my dad, but my passion was church,” Hill told a reporter in 2010. “If my dad would tell me ‘son you have homework so you can’t come to the revival tonight,’ I’d pout and scream and start praying through the house.”
“At one point, I went to church musicals so often that I would do my duties at Mt. Zion, we’d get out and I’d run over to West Angeles or to First Apostolic. All of that praising ushered me right on into the filling of the Holy Spirit at 16.”
Though heavily involved in the church, Hill — who graduated from USC with two degrees, a major in communications and a minor in Spanish—enrolled at Pepperdine, intent on becoming a lawyer at his father’s urging.
“But,” Hill recounted, “I would be in the library thinking about choir rehearsal or who was handling Bible study. After one year I had to wrestle with the fact that becoming a lawyer wasn’t what I wanted to do. I confessed my calling to the ministry right then.”
Turning his attention to his passion, Hill worked in every aspect of Mt. Zion ministry from choir director to associate minister, labeling the church as a veritable boot camp in evangelism.
In 2001, he was named senior pastor of Calvary Temple Pentecostal Holiness Church, and following the passing of his father, Hill took the reins of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in 2005.
“His life was a prophecy fulfilled,” said longtime Mt. Zion member and close family friend,Gwen Troy, who recalled how as a boy he was always inquisitive about the Bible and would make her kids play church.
“Edward being back at Mt. Zion was full circle and he was an excellent pastor and shepherd,” Troy said. “He preached for transformation. He really wanted to see people’s lives change because they heard his messages and he was a hands-on, caring person. He could be touched.
Troy also pointed to Hill’s “out of the box” creativity, noting that he had started a theater ministry at Mt. Zion where the church would purchase group tickets to plays at the Music Center and attend together.
At the time of his sudden death, Hill and his wife, Tisa, had been preparing to celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary. The couple have an adult son, Edward V. Hill III.
Wave Staff Report