EDISTO ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – People from all across the Lowcountry came together for a visitation and wake to honor the life of a former South Carolina Senator Rev. McKinley Washington Junior.

“We are so grateful for having been in his presence. He has done so much for all of here in Edisto,” says Carlette Geddis, a friend of Rev. McKinley Washington Jr.

Rev. Washington lived 85 years, and people who knew him say that he paved the way for a better future for people all across the country.

“He’s like the dad I never had. He’s like a dad to us all in this community. He has done so much for so many people, but also for my family. We can never repay him for the stuff he’s done for us,” says Robert Bowens, an Elder at Edisto Presbyterian Church.

Danny Murphy a member of Presbyterian of Trinity says, he met Rev. Washington 34 years ago. He says Rev. Washington was a mentor and motivated him to become a leader in the church.

“We are called to be of service to try to make the quality of life better for other people and I saw that in him. That was the source of motivation for me,” says Murphy.

Geddis says Rev. Washington baptized her and performed her wedding ceremony.

“He would give you great advice, not something that he just read but something that he lived,” she says.

Those who knew him and loved him, are celebrating how he impacted them. They say their lives were made better because of the life he lived.

“All that he has done is coming to an end, it’s a culmination. I think there will be people from so many walks of life coming to celebrate his legacy,” says Geddis.

There will be a homegoing service for Rev. Washington Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the North Charleston Coliseum.