JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After nearly five decades at the pulpit, a long time pastor is retiring.
Bishop Rudolph McKissick Sr. will officially hand over the reins to his son Sunday at Bethel Baptist Church.
"I'm satisfied, it's a God move. It's like I'm satisfied that he has approved my terminating as pastor," McKissick said.
McKissick has been the pastor of the 175-year-old Bethel Baptist church for 47 years.
He said it's been a pleasure preaching at the oldest black church in the state of Florida.
"I hope, as all of us do feel -- that your successor will do better than you--and that I'm already seeing," McKissick said.
Ready to take his seat with the rest of the congregation as a member.
"I'm not crippled. I'm not decrepit and I think I'm in my right mind, and I think I'm ready to carry on whatever else
God wants me to do," said McKissick.
The 86-year old told Action News he's the first pastor to retire from this church.
"I have the longest tenure here as pastor, so that's significant for me and I cherish that," said McKissick.
He said his last message will be a word from the heart, not any different than him giving his best every Sunday.
"I'm not anticipating any breakdowns; if it comes it comes. I'm just thankful that I can stand and declare a word," said McKissick.
Bishop McKissick will be preaching his last two sermons this Sunday.
"It's a bittersweet moment and I'm trying my best to deal with the bitter and the sweet," said McKissick.