Service being held for Atlanta's 'Happy Preacher' Elder Cal Lester Merrell

Faith leaders to remember the man known for shouting 'Glory'

Memorial services are being held Friday for the man known affectionally as 'The Happy Preacher'. Elder Cal Lester Merrell died earlier this month.

The man known as the Happy Preacher will be remembered in a memorial service
Cover of the funeral program for Elder Cail Lester Merrell Photo credit First Iconium Baptist Church

The service will be held at noon at First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta. "His first name was actually spelled C-a-i-l, he told me himself," says church pastor Rev. Timothy McDonald. So many assumed it was spelled C-a-l, just as many had spelled his last name "Murrell" before his death. While there were things we didn't know about the man affectionately known as the 'Happy Preacher' we knew him when we saw him, or better yet, heard him.

Many knew Merrell as the 'Happy Preacher'
Elder Cail Lester Merrell (l) is shown with longtime friend Rev. Timothy McDonald (r) Photo credit Rev. Timothy McDonald

He was a gentleman, always well-dressed, always greeting you with a smile, and carrying a tambourine. "His praise was authentic," says Rev. Timothy McDonald about his longtime friend. McDonald will deliver Merrell's Eulogy.

A number of clergy members are on the program to remember Merrell. Rev. McDonald says Mayor Andre Dickens will attend to present the Phoenix Award. It's the city's highest honor.

Capacity will be limited and the service is being livestreamed. Rev. McDonald says there will be temperature checks, masks and social distancing are also required.