SOUTH BAY (CBSLA.com) — A well-known pastor in the South Bay has died unexpectedly, it was reported Friday.
Rev. Stephen Mays of Calvary Chapel South Bay passed away Thursday from complications during back surgery.READ MORE: Meat Loaf, Entertainer Known For 'I'd Do Anything For Love,' Countless Other Hits, Dies At 74
Mays was vocal about being a former gang member and former drug addict who turned his life around.
He took over the church in the 1970s, which had 75 members at the time.READ MORE: 'I Hope Paradise Is As You Remember It;' Boy George, Cher, Stephen Fry React To Death Of Meat Loaf
Membership has since grown to 9,000 parishioners.
One church official said, “This is a day of sadness.”MORE NEWS: Juzang Scores 28 As No. 9 UCLA Holds Off Utah, 63-58
Mays was 64 years old.