Speaking from the pulpit, Bishop George McKinney's message was clear. "There was a transformation in his mind and in his spirit," he said.

McKinney had the opportunity to listen to Mandela twice. The first was at a church leadership summit, and the second was when he was invited by the South African government, which was a moment he will never forget. "Knowing that one was in the presence of greatness," said McKinney. "He was a man who was used by God to make peace."

On Sunday, as the world said goodbye to Mandela as he was laid to rest, McKinney paid tribute to him in his own way during his Sunday sermon.

"What happened in South Africa, what happened in Alabama, what's happening in southeast San Diego is happening all over the world," he said. "Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere."

Using examples from Mandela's life and struggles, he taught the congregation at Saint Stephen's about forgiving others and fighting for equality. It is a message that has inspired many to continue living as Mandela once did.