Bishop Barnett K. Thoroughgood, 62, died after collapsing on the pulpit during a Sunday service, according to CBN News. Thoroughgood had just finished a sermon called "I Am Here to do Battle" before dying in front of his congregation at New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ.
Paramedics tried to revive the non-responsive pastor, while people in the congregation prayed and cried. "He died doing what he loved," said church member Mable Beckett. "He lived the life he was called to, right up until the end."
During his final sermon, Thoroughgood was preaching about keeping attention on God and calling on Him in times of need. "You shall live and not die," were Thoroughgood's final words before collapsing and dying.
Members of his congregation posted their condolences on the New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ Facebook page.
"See you in Glory Bishop!!! But remember you can't crown Him until we all get there!" Yolanda Jarmon posted. "Enjoy glory!! We are keeping the family and the Body of Christ in prayer!"
Pastor James Walker spoke on behalf of Greater Victory Apostolic Church in Baltimore, Md. "We are saddened by this great man of God moving to his new location to be with the Lord and it leaves an empty place in our hearts," Walker posted.
Thoroughgood founded New Jerusalem over 40 years ago, according to CBN News. Since then it has grown to over 2,000 members, including hip-hop artists, Missy Elliott, Pharrell Williams and Timbaland. Timbaland's mother was at the church service when Thoroughgood died. He sent his condolences, using Twitter.
"Rest in peace to my pastor, a true angel, Bishop Barnett K Thoroughgood," Timbaland tweeted.
The message was re-posted by Justin Bieber and thousands of other followers. A home-going service will be held for Thoroughgood at 12:00 p.m., Friday at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.