A Peoria pastor announced last week he will be leaving his congregation but the impact he made on the city and those who heard him preach will stay.

Jim Powell has been with Richwoods Christian Church for 26 years and has worked his way into the hearts of his congregation ..

"Not only does he have a huge heart for ministry, he just has a huge heart for people. He just likes to have a good time. He has such a heart for the message of hope that we all have, that we've been called to, to share. Not only just working here but in our own communities," Alyssa Wier Connections Director for Richwoods Christian Church.

Powell has made getting to know the people in the pews a top priority 

"I love connecting with people, i love helping people on their journey especially people that are interested in growing and developing. It's hard when you have a lot of people because you can't give as much time to everybody who wants it but i love seeing people that are teachable and i love seeing people make changes and growth in their life, it's very fulfilling," he said.
Those connections have given some a passion to help and teach others, including those outside of the church

"He also inspired me to do ministry and to get out in my community and do things and that is what i am going to do. He motivated me with the love that he shows towards people," church attendee Steven Grossmeyer said.

Powell has been leading by example for the past two decades.

"He just really cares about the community and i know he is a part of a lot of different things not just pastoring he is involved with baseball and he coaches his sons. He has just been a really huge part of community on-top of being a huge part of Richwoods," Wier said.

Powell has helped the church become active participants in community efforts and on Sunday they donated school supplies and $1000 dollars to a local school and Powell urged his congregation to donate their time to the school as well.