HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg community mourns the loss of its beloved pastor, the Rev. Ricky LeFlore. LeFlore’s wife of nine years, Erica LeFlore, said Ricky was a man of God who preached love, unity and peace.
“Anybody who’s life he’s ever impacted, everybody is hurting,” said Erica.
Erica said Ricky was pastor at Rock of Ages Christian Fellowship Center on Eastside Avenue for 31 years.
“Our former pastor passed when we were on Martin Luther King,” said Erica. “Then we found this property and built this church. Our former pastor never saw this church. He passed before we could get this far. So, Pastor LeFlore has been the only pastor at this location, and its been 31 years.”
Erica says she’s dealing with her husband’s death one day at time.
“He gave a whole new meaning to the relationship of Boaz and Ruth,” said Erica. “That’s what we called each other. He was my Boaz and I was his Ruth...He treated me like a queen, always.”
Memories and pictures of the LeFlores now cover their home. Erica said Ricky was a loving man who never knew a stranger.
“He was everybody’s pastor,” said Erica. “Homeless people he’d see on the street. They knew him. When he’d go to different fast food places, they know him as the one that would check on them and ask if you’d had anything today. He’d buy it for them.”
His family members say while they do not wish to publicly discuss his cause of death, they ask everyone to remember Ricky for the impact he left on the community.
“He was always about loving and trying to make somebody feel better about themselves about life, and it was all in an effort to lead them to God,” said Erica.
She said Ricky’s favorite Bible scripture was Psalm 46:10 and that in everything he did, he made sure to put God first.
“God, the church, his wife and his family was his life,” said Erica.
Erica said as she copes with Ricky’s death, she plans to continue his legacy by passing on his teachings that she carries with her everyday.
“He was a community person,” said Erica. “It just really wasn’t enough of him to go around but he tried. He was always trying to meet a need. He was always trying to bridge a gap.”
A funeral service for Ricky LeFlore will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Rock of Ages Christian Fellowship Center.
“He would say when he would often preach a eulogy they didn’t teach him how,” said Erica. “He didn’t know how. So, there was no solemn, quiet homecoming celebration for anybody if he had the opportunity to preach their eulogy. We would always have church. That’s what we plan to do Thursday, have church.”