People packed into Cokesbury United Methodist Church Sunday afternoon to remember Senior Pastor Dr. Steven Sallee in a celebration of life service.
Dr. Sallee passed away on Thursday after a bout with pneumonia led to other serious complications.
He lead Cokesbury for nearly 20 years. Under his leadership, the congregation grew into one of the largest Methodist churches in the country.
Minister of Discipleship Rebekah Fetzner said Sallee's sermons touched many lives and provided hope.
"'Hang in there' - he said that all the time. For him it was more than a saying. It expressed his belief in persistence, perseverance and tenaciousness," said Fetzner.
(Thursday, May 2) The senior pastor of one of Knoxville's largest churches has died after battling an illness.
Dr. Steven Sallee was the senior pastor of Cokesbury United Methodist Church.
Church leaders announced on the Cokesbury website that Sallee passed away on Thursday afternoon.
"He fought an incredibly hard battle but now has found peace," said Cokesbury minister Stephen DeFur. In a message to the church family, DeFur said, "I cannot possibly express enough thanks for your love, prayers, and concern.
He spent several weeks in a critical care unit at a local hospital after a bout with pneumonia led to other serious complications.
DeFur said funeral arrangements had not yet been announced.