A longtime Charlotte community leader and pastor died suddenly Saturday night, Channel 9 has learned.
Reverend Darryl Gaston was the pastor at Smallwood Presbyterian Church on Beatties Ford Road.
Church leaders said Gaston died after dinner Saturday.
Gaston was known for his tireless work in the community to improve the North End, Druid Hills and the Statesville Avenue corridor.
Saddened to hear about the passing of Darryl Gaston. A Druid Hills community leader and pastor of Smallwood Presbyterian Church, Darryl Gaston worked tirelessly for his community and was a champion for North End @wsoctv pic.twitter.com/OUnfmnuSXD
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) February 21, 2021
Channel 9 has interviewed him several times about his community work.
“I matter. You matter, and we all matter.”
That was more than Rev. Gaston’s catchphrase. It’s also how he is being remembered.
Many community advocates, like Judith Brown, knew Gaston from his outreach and learned the news of his death online.
“It was a very hard way to find out, you know, that someone so important had been lost,” she told Channel 9.
Brown is the executive director of Project70Forward, an organization that supports people with disabilities. She and Gaston first worked together last year on ensuring at least eight different underserved neighborhoods in Charlotte filled out the census.
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SOURCE: WSOCTV, Anthony Kustura