A Presbyterian minister collapsed and died at the pulpit after saying "And when I go to heaven...," his colleague said.

The Rev. Jack Arnold, 69, was nearing the end of his sermon Sunday at Covenant Presbyterian Church when he grabbed the podium before falling to the floor, said the Rev. Michael S. Beats, the church's associate pastor.

Before collapsing, Arnold quoted the 18th-century Bible scholar John Wesley (search) who said, "Until my work on this earth is done, I am immortal. But when my work for Christ is done ... I go to be with Jesus," Beats said in a telephone interview.

Several parishioners with medical backgrounds tried to revive Arnold and paramedics were called, but he appeared to die instantly, Beats said.

Arnold had been the senior minister at the church in this Orlando suburb until the late 1990s when he began traveling to Africa and the Middle East to teach pastors.

The cause of death was believed to be cardiac arrest. He had bypass surgery five years earlier.