Countless members of the St. Charles Parish community have been mourning the loss of Pastor Kendall Pierre Sr., as the memories, kind words and condolences they’ve shared online highlighted the large and lasting legacy he leaves behind.
Pierre, who has served as Pastor at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in his native Ama for over a decade, passed away May 2 after a more than one month battle with COVID-19. He leaves behind his wife Sabrina and three children, Tayler, Kendall and Kaden.
He described himself as a husband, father, barber, coach, mentor and a servant of God, and he indeed had many talents and callings. Pierre grew up in a single parent household, and credited sports as something that helped him to “stay on the straight and narrow” in a 2019 interview with the Herald-Guide. That inspired his involvement as a longtime basketball coach and mentor for youth, using the sport as a point of interest to teach valuable life skills like work ethic, teamwork, commitment and accountability.
That included work with the Southeast Louisiana Education program,in addition to coaching with many other youth sports organizations . He noted many young athletes involved with the program came from difficult circumstances, and that his involvement with SELA allowed him to offer support, leadership and a positive message to guide them.
Pierre was also an assistant coach with the Hahnville High School boys basketball team, where he coached both of his sons.
The St. Charles Parish council made a statement following Pierre’s passing that he was “a role model for many and a shining light in the St. Charles Parish community” who would truly be missed.
Leaving a significant impact on his community
Many took to social media to share their memories of what made Pierre a special individual.
“Kendall Pierre had the uncanny ability to make you feel like you was his best friend, like you was special to him,” said Lance Markey of Ama. “No matter what was going on , he would always make you feel like you mattered. We all had a best friend in him and we all have broken hearts. Crazy thing is when I close my eyes and think about him, I can hear him saying ‘it’s OK, my brother.’”
Monica Swint, a longtime friend of Sabrina Pierre, said in her post that she was at a loss for word and her heart broken upon hearing the news.
“The way he looked at (Sabrina) was priceless. I’ve never met a man that loved his wife and family so much. He became my brother … Kendall Pierre always had the biggest smile and best greeting … My brother truly loved God and it showed in his everyday life.”
Derek Raymond of Hahnville said Pierre’s loss “shook up the entire community” because of the numerous lives he’s impacted. Darlene King of Hahnville said “there aren’t enough words to describe how truly kind and unique” Pierre was, and called his loss “hard to understand.”
Former LSU basketball coach and former Hahnville High star Pokey Chatman was Pierre’s cousin, and shared her thoughts on his loss through a video shared.
“We lost a tremendous human being. You’ve heard me talk about him, my pastor, my cousin, my friend, my colleague … he loved the round ball as well. (He) gained his wings yesterday as he transitioned. He battled, he fought for almost 40 days. A lot of tough days, but I can tell you the last four or five he was making tremendous progress.”
Chatman said Pierre’s family was preparing for the next phase of his recovery last Friday night, but that less than 12 hours later, he was gone.
Those were just a few thoughts shared among many others. A fundraiser posted last week to support Pierre’s family raised more than $22,000 in just three days to help cover his medical expenses (A GoFundMe page titled “Pastor Kendall Pierre’s Fight Against COVID-19).
According to the page, was admitted to the main campus of Ochsner on March 26, where he was admitted to the ICU and placed on a ventilator.
(Editor’s note and correction: The initial version of this story noted the GoFundMe was to raise money for funeral expenses in addition to medical expenses, based on information noted on an update to the fundraiser page that has since been corrected. The fundraiser was made to help the family with medical expenses only, not for funeral expenses, and we have updated the story accordingly.)