DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Hays McKay, who was a pastor at Covenant United Methodist Church in Dothan for over 20 years, passed away on Saturday after a three-year battle with cancer.

“He left behind such a great legacy for I think this church, for my family, for the community, and just so thankful for that all of the stuff I learned from him.” Hays’ son, Trey McKay said. “I think that so many others have learned from him.”

Pictured here is Hays McKay

Hays McKay was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and continued preaching at Covenant until May of 2021 when McKay preached his final sermon.

On Saturday, Covenant announced that McKay passed away at the age of 65.

His son, Trey was asked a few months ago to preach at the three services that Covenant offers on Sunday, so when the news broke, Associate Pastor Kyle Gatlin told Trey that he didn’t have to preach on Sunday and to give him an answer in the morning.

“I kinda went back and forth with it last night, and even a little bit this morning, but I just felt like this was a great way for me to honor him and to do something that he would do,” McKay said.

Trey preached during all three of the services on fear and how love conquers fear.

“Just knowing there is no fear and there is no anxiety right now knowing that my father is home and completely healed,” McKay said.

The McKay family have been in Dothan for more than 20 years pouring into the community and pouring into covenant, which Trey says he wants people to remember about his dad.

“I just hope people will always remember about how much of a loving person, caring person, and funny person that he was,” McKay said. “And the Jesus following person he was.”

Trey also says that the outpouring of love from the community helped him get on the stage to preach in honor of his father on Sunday.

McKay adds that ever since his dad was diagnosed with cancer, and even now, they have received prayers and love from the church and the community.