A pastor in Texas who held the Guinness World Record for longest tenure as a pastor has passed away. 

Rev. Dr. Doris Nathaniel Benford Sr. passed away on April 15. Benford was the pastor at Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church in Texas City and had been for 72 years straight. 

"It is with saddened hearts that we announce the homegoing of our beloved pastor, father, grandfather and so many other wonderful things to us. Rev. D. N. Benford, Sr. has transitioned to be with the Lord," the church announced on Facebook. "He has fought a long hard fight for the Lord, and He has called him home to be with Him!"

The Guinness Book of World Records honoured Benford in 2022 for 'Longest tenure as pastor of the same church.' Remarkably, Benford began his start in ministry at the young age of 20, back in 1950. For over 70 years he continued preaching at the same pulpit. 

"In 1947, Rev. D.N. Benford was visiting a friend in Texas City, Texas, by the name of Rev. FM Johnson. Rev. Johnson was scheduled to preach at Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church (as a guest pastor) but he was sick," says Guinness World Records website. "Rev. Johnson asked Rev. Benford if he would preach in his place. After Rev. Benford preached, Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church was pleased and told Rev. Benford that if they were ever in need of a pastor, they would contact him, because they were impressed by his teaching/preaching."

Benford's first message was preached when he was only 14 years old. According to Fox26, Benford preached his last sermon on Easter Sunday this year. 

Throughout his long history as a pastor Benford has been known for his geneoristy in helping the less fortunate, providing food and clothing, and organizing events for families.

To honour his legacy Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church shared that they would cover his chair in the pulpit for 30 days.