Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74, who was also shot in the historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, succumbed to his wounds at a nearby hospital.
He was a retired pastor of several Charleston churches. A parishioner at the Greater Zion AME Church in Awendaw, where Simmons served as pastor from 2004-2009, remembered him as a talented teacher and compassionate leader.
"He was a by-the-book person," said church officer and financial secretary Patricia Brown. "He said the only way you really stay out of trouble is if you go by the rules."
At Greater Zion, Brown said the 74-year-old grandfather led weekly bible studies and helped the church establish a housing ministry and a hot meal program for those in need.
She said her church is planning a memorial service for Simmons on Sunday.
"I think the whole state's in shock, and we're in shock here as well," Brown said. "It's just a very sad thing."