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Bishop Who Served As Kings' Team Chaplain Dies

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — One of the strongest spiritual voices in Sacramento, who served as team chaplain for the Sacramento Kings, fell silent on Wednesday.

Bishop Sherwood Carthen died at the age of 54, prompting reaction from across the Sacramento area.

At a time when so much is changing for the Sacramento Kings, with so many new faces, one face remained steady and strong.

Carthen seemed strong and full of life on Tuesday afternoon doing what he did best: speaking out on behalf of the homeless.

Whether it was on a big stage, or a small news conference, Carthen knew how to captivate an audience with just the right combination of power and compassion.

No one was ready for what would happen the day after a gathering of city and religious leaders where Carthen talked about the importance of helping the homeless.

"This is a shock to everyone. No one saw this coming," said Pastor Dave Wesley.

He said Carthen was at the church he founded—Bayside of South Sacramento—on Tuesday night leading a bible study lesson.

But his life lesson lives on.

"He was fearless, and he proclaimed the gospel, and he did it in a way that respected and cared for the humanity of every individual, no matter who they were, no matter what their station was in life," said Wesley.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said the pastor's ministry "extended far beyond the walls of his church."

Sacramento police issued a statement calling him "a devoted friend."

Kings player Delonte Green tweeted: "I know that God has now given me another angel."

Kings minority owner Steve Oates issued the following statement:

"As chaplain of the Kings, Bishop Sherwood Carthen has mentored countless Kings both past and present. He was an outstanding preacher, but an even better friend to all."

He was a friend with a vision and forward-thinking faith he proclaimed as part of his last public words: "We still got some ways to go."

Sadly, the good work must go on without Carthen. But it will be guided by his spirit.

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