Pastor Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, Wash., died Wednesday after battling cancer for more than a decade. The faith leader and star of TheBlaze TV’s “Hutch” was 61.

The church announced on its website: “Antioch Bible Church sadly announces that shortly before noon today our Senior Pastor Dr. Ken Hutcherson was ushered in the [presence] of the Lord. Please pray for comfort and peace for the family. The family asked that you give them some privacy at this time. Please no phone calls or [visits].”

Hutcherson, known as “Hutch” to his friends, led a remarkable life that began in the South during the era of segregation.

Pastor Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church Dies at 61

Pastor Ken Hutcherson speaks on TheBlaze TV. (Photo: TheBlaze TV)

“I was born in Anniston, Alabama, in the 50s and had to fight for my equality most of my life,” he wrote in a piece for TheBlaze. “You see, there were many who thought I should be treated like a second-class citizen, drink from a different water fountain, sit in the back of the bus, be counted as three-quarters of a person, go to a different school, eat and sit in the black section of restaurants, use a different bathroom; you know, be separate but equal. Then came Dr. Martin Luther King and all that started to change and praise God! I became a Christian in 1969.”

Hutcherson was a middle linebacker for the Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers before turning his talents to the ministry.

But even after receiving his cancer diagnosis 13 years ago, he didn’t slow down.

“I’ve had cancer for 13 years and I have been condemned to die for five,” the faith leader told TheBlaze in July. “Cancer is one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.”

Hutcherson said that “what cancer has done is given me an absolute focus on Jesus Christ, my Lord and savior.”

His remarkable story was even turned into a television show on TheBlaze TV called “Hutch,” which his wife described as a “profound gift” for their family. The show followed Hutch in his daily life and centered around a letter he was writing to his children.

On Tuesday, Glenn Beck gave a moving tribute to his dying friend. You can watch the entire clip here.

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