CCTOF Pastor Dr. Jerome McNeil collapses and dies following Sunday service

Pastor Dr. Jerome McNeil

Dr. Jerome E. McNeil, Jr., long-time pastor of Christian Chapel Temple of Faith CME Church (CCTOF) collapsed and died in the sanctuary on Sunday. Dr. McNeil had just completed his Sunday morning sermon at the 10:45 am worship service.   Dr. McNeil was the pastor of CCTOF, one of the oldest African American churches in Dallas County, for 21 years. The church grew to over 6,000 members during his tenure, making it one of the largest churches in the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) denomination.  Dr. McNeil was 63 year-old.

He was appointed by late Governor Ann Richards to serve on the Texas Marriage and Family Licensing Board for a 3-year term. McNeil was hired as the highest-ranking African American in Dallas County in 1981 when he named Assistant Director for the Dallas County Juvenile Department. In 1983, he became the first African American Family Court Investigator and Counselor for Dallas County.

Dr. McNeil was one of the founding members of the Dallas African American Pastors Coalition, and Denominational Prayer Coordinator for the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a Board member for the Phillips School of Theology of the ITC Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  Dr. McNeil served on the National Board of the One Church One School based out of Chicago, Illinois and was the Founder and Ex-Officio Officer of the Board of the Jordan Community Development Corporation of Dallas, Texas.   Dr. McNeil was a nationally recognized evangelist, counselor, teacher, workshop facilitator, speaker and author, who emphasized a biblical response to the current issues facing modern families and communities through his teaching and preaching ministries.

His wife of 39 years, Billye, two daughters, a son-in-law and two granddaughters survives Dr. McNeil.   Funeral arrangements are pending.


  1. Christina says:

    Pastor McNeil was a great man of God, who made a considerable difference in my life, the life of my family & my marriage. I thank God for the time he allowed Pastor McNeil to be a good Sheppard to his flock. While I am saddened by his loss, my heart rejoices from his gain. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. It gives my heart comfort to know he went from the house of the Lord to the arms of the Lord (I have no doubt).

  2. fay fleming says:

    While the recap above chronicles Pastor McNeil’s external accomplishments, his greater accomplishments included being an ethical, humble, caring man who made himself accessible to visitors, attenders and members.

    While I’m sad that his physical presence will be absent from his family, church family and all of us who worked intimately with him, I am clear that what he poured into me and my relationship with God will pay dividends for years to come. We miss you Doc.

  3. He was a great Pastor i will always remember when he said, You know how we play spades and u don’t have know books and your partner looks at u and put that card on his head and Yells Out I got You!!!!Thats how God Us !!!!!

  4. As a musician I’ve played for many churches and served with many pastors over the years. Pastor McNeil is at the very top of my list of great pastors I’ve served with. We will miss Him terribly. Serving under his leadership was a pleasure and a joy. He is a leader of leaders. A pastor of pastors. There are no words to express the pain we feel right now. We cannot fathom at this point going on without him, but we will, in time, because that is what he taught us to do. Go with God, and remember that life on earth is not the end.

  5. Each and every Sunday that I walked through the doors at Christian Chapel, I knew that I would leave with a positive message.

    Thank you!!! Pastor McNeil. You will be missed.

  6. Rev. Dr. Vincent D Dent says:

    Where do i begin? Dr. Jerome E McNeil Jr. just to think that I only had a two and a half year journey serving under and with you. You were the kind of Pastor i had been believing God for several years prior to my moving to Dallas. My first conversation with you confirmed it in my spirit that Dallas, TX was going to be my new location and Christian Chapel my assignment. You made me so welcome and up until our very last day serving together, you made me understand how important every member of the body is, and how that love is the principle component in servant leadership. I am a much more and better equipped servant because of the way God used you to continue my development. I felt anchored for the first time in a long while in ministry. You will always mean so much to me as i continue to labor in the harvest of Our Lord. My wife and i will always treasure your wisdom, your kindness, your joy for living and caring for the sheep of Gods pasture. I cannot say enough about how much you will be missed, but i can live in a way such as you will never be forgotten. I could not have been all that it does not yet appear I shall be had you not been one of the very valuable treasures that Our Father provided for the grand purpose for which we have been made. We Love you Doc, We Miss You, We’ll meet again soon on that beautiful shore.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I love Pastor McNeil so much I just recently started going to this GREAT church and found myself attached to the his preaching so much I could not stop telling my family and friends how wonderfully he brought the word. He was so into his congregation that he would go out to the members and shake hands, give hugs and make you feel welcome. My heart is so heavy my love and prayers is with his family and the church. Love Stephanie

  8. Mona Darwin Carroll says:

    R.I.P Dr. Jerome McNeil

    Every time I think of a Great Man and a true blessing to the World. I like the fact that Dr. McNeil kept it real at all times and never judged anyone. He treated everyone nice and touch every ones soul.

    I thank God that I had a chance to be under his leadership. It made me a better person. I appreciate life because he taught me and my sisters how to Respect and Love each other for a lifetime,.

  9. Kevin Caldwell says:

    There is no doubt that as a pastor, he was highly accomplished, delivering the Word with the force of an E.V. Hill and the eligance of a Martin Luther King, Jr. There are many souls that were redeemed by our Savior as a direct result of the obediance to the calling on his life….abiding in the Lord as the Lord abided in him. But, for those who only knew this side of him, let me point out a few things that made lasting impressions on me….as for the man….Jerome McNeil. He introduced me to martial arts films of the 70’s, Lola Falana (Lord ha’ mercy….), and the sweetest falsetto voice that I’ve ever heard in my life, Russell Thompkins of The Stylistics. I never knew that anyone could enjoy eating more than me, or that a man could actually own more pairs of shoes than his wife and mother combined, until I beheld both realities in the presence of my uncle. LOL. For today, I’ll shed a tear. I am not sad because I’ll miss him, as true as that may be, but I am awed by the concept of living my life from this day forward, in a way that will honor his memory by being utilized of God in a likewise manner. Let us all be wise enough to recognize that the life he lived was one which calls us back to where it all began, the Cross. He fought the good fight. Now it’s up to us to keep swingin’ yall!!

    We’ll see ya’ again soon, Uncle. God’s speed.

    Your Nephew,

  10. .Maria King Woods says:

    Dr. McNeil will be missed by many for many reasons. He lived the life that he taught other to live. A true man of God in every sense of the word. No words can express the grief that we all feel today. We must remember that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Let us continue to run this race with grace.

  11. He conducted my son’s funeral. My son was 3 years old. His name was and always will be Godhas Zion Umoh. I still remember that day’s sermon. Pastor Mcneil said, God has Godhas Zion Umoh! God has Godhas Zion Umoh!! God has Godhas Zion Umoh and after that, he cried. I was suppose to meet him on sunday 07/15/2012 the day he past but I couldn’t meet him because I had to attain a child dedication in houston and I had plan on meeting him on next sunday.
    Pastor Mcneil, You was my only hope, you was my God father, you was suppose to guide me on opening my son’s fundation just to help the kids that are in help but now you are gone. Please watch and take care of my son for me and tell him I love him still. As for you, Pastor Mcneil, I love you, I love you still and i’ll always love you. Zion Umoh E.

  12. Krystal Harris says:

    I am still in shock, and truly hurt by Pastor McNeil’s passing. I had bounced around to multiple churches before visiting CCTOF, and after only my second visit, Dr. McNeil’s sermon assured me that this needed to be my church home. He had a way of speaking to your situation as if you and him were the only people in the room. He made a habit to walk around the sanctuary and introduce himself to people before and after his sermon. I can honestly say in the year I have been a member, I have learned so much from Dr. McNeil, and he will never be forgotten! Rest peacefully Dr. McNeil, and I pray strenght and blessings to his wife and children.


  13. What an awesome visionary, leader, pastor, preacher and teacher he was. I’ve only heard him preach about 4 times and everytime he delivered a strong, powerful, encouraging and scripture based messaage of hope. If most pastors would take notes and learn from this man. He did not preach his opinions, nor a lot of condemnation, he ministered to the whole body of Christ. I will be in the number that mourns our loss, but I’ll rejoice in knowing he’s attained the prize of eternal life on the other side.

  14. Dot McKnight-LaSalle says:

    I meet Dr. McNeil several years ago when he was pastor at a small CME church in West Dallas. Awesome mentor, pastor and speaker. He will be missed for sure. Praying for the family, knowing throught their faith in God that all will be okay.

  15. Dominic Burks says:

    Pastor, I truely have to say you’ve been the most Inspiring man I’ve ever known. Taught me so many things about life and how to treat others with Love and respect. My family live on a great foundation of the Lord, thanks to your Introductory and Great words of advice. I just want to say that I love you Pastor, and Watch over us as we continue our journey to get to the Gates of Heaven. Still Laughing deep inside at Many of your Famous Punch Lines…You’ll forever be Missed!


  16. Paula Jones says:

    Christian Chapel Temple of Faith CME Church announces the Celebration of Life for our beloved Pastor Rev. Dr. Jerome E. McNeil, Jr. McNeil passed away unexpectedly following the 10:45 am worship service Sunday, July 15, 2012.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm
    Prayer Vigil

    Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm
    Praise Celebration Featuring CCTOF Music Ministry

    Friday, July 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm – close
    Public Viewing *
    *Black and Clark Funeral Home, 2517 East Illinois Avenue in Dallas, TX 75216

    Saturday, July 21, 2012
    9:00 am – 10:30 am Public Viewing
    11:00 am Celebration of Life

    All events take place at Christian Chapel Temple of Faith CME Church, 14120 Noel in Dallas, unless otherwise noted.

  17. NDG Staff says:

    Thank you for sharing Paula, on our updated latest post about Dr. McNeil earlier this afternoon to include this info as well here: http://northdallasgazette.com/2012/07/17/passing-of-cctofs-dr-jerome-mcneil-the-legendary-dallas-pastor-shocks-many/.

  18. James Hines says:

    Pastor McNeil, you were by far the greatest biblical teacher I’ve ever known and I’m blessed that God let our paths cross. You gave hope to so many including myself.

    I feel an undescribeable loss right now but also understand that this is all in God’s plan.


  19. Teresa Jorden says:

    What a terrible loss and we will truly miss such a great man of God! Dr. McNeil was a joy to hear each Sunday morning and my heart is heavy as I write these words.

  20. A man of great and rare character. It was a pleasure playing the organ for his church and I will definitely miss him.

  21. Aaron Hilburn says:

    This was a man you wanted to be. He always knew the people he ralk too! He onece told me after bibile study I needed a new bible and I laughed. The one sermon that stay in my mind is the one he talked about the pity party. He made that sermon years ago, I will never forget it!

  22. To God be the glory he will be missed may the Lord bless his wife and family from Inspirational COGIC Kermit,TX Pastor Dr. Donald R. Hunt Sr

  23. Rev. Elaine C. Smith, (RET, UMC PASTOR) says:

    I had the opportunity to visit on one Sunday several years ago. He did not preach that day, but I did get to meet and speak with him briefly.

    I am very much saddened by your loss, and will continue to pray for all you, as you try to move forward through this time of grief. May God give you peace, comfort, and joy in the knowledge that yet another Child of God has gone home to rest at the feet of our Savior1

  24. Lifting you all up in prayer after your loss. I was wondering if anyone could tell me the content of his last sermon, or if there’s a way to hear it/read it/see it in full. Grace and peace to you and yours.

    In Christ,

  25. Sylvia Thomas says:

    Pastor McNeil was truly man of God. He always recognized people as individuals. He was the best and has the best wife and family ever. God is well pleased! He will truly missed.

  26. A Tribute To A Great Shepherd: I am so deeply moved by what has happened to and my family and I because of Dr. McNeil and his wonderful family. He has helped us in ways many will never know. That’s just the way he wanted it. I have served many Pastors in my life but none were like Dr. McNeil. He was transparent, humble, uplifting, honest, loyal, practical, loving, meek, lowly and all the while you were made to be great. He is one of the greatest men I have ever known. To his beautiful virtuous wife, hang in there. If you need me or my family for anything please, please do not hesitate. The answer is “Whatever you need and I have it, it is yours”. I Love you and I am changed forever because of you and your husband. God is always able. Yours truly Pastor Cedric West, Angela, Ashley, Cedric Jr. and India. Please stay in touch.

  27. Vincent Opiyo says:

    Traumatising…… Lord have mercy on the family and the congregation of CCTOF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Bro,Sylvester Fisher says:

    Dr, Mc Neil you was my Pastor ! I never would, have you left us that way. My heart is , sad I talk to just about every day Pastor ! Sometimes 3 to 4 times a, week ! I new Monday before late would be our final talk ! When I seen you, that Sunday Pastor ! You ask how, me&mom was doing today and Church ! I was so happy, as always to here to teacher use ! As you alway, do ! I did not know, the message you speak about ! Would be the last ! The message you, Preach was ” I am better than I use to be ” would be the last ! When passout and Front, of me and mom ! I felt like my, world was ending ! I ask the Lord, why did he take my Pastor ! Dr,Mc Neil I all ready, miss you ! You was my, Pastor and Friend and Father ! I am try to deal, with your loss as best as I can ! So I just west, to say Pastor R . I . P. ! Untill we meet again, Pastor ! My life want , be the same with you ! I know your, with God and Jesus ! Love Always ! Your Member : Sylvester & Mom !

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