In To Kill a Mockingbird, Miss Maudie explains that Atticus Finch is the moral compass for the community.
The day after the trial, Miss Maudie calls to Jem because she is aware of his reaction to the verdict in the trial of Tom Robinson. She invites him, along with Scout and Dill, to have some cake. After cutting a piece for Jem from the large cake meant for adults, Miss Maudie reassures him that "things are never as bad as they seem." Then, she further addresses Jem,
"I simply want to tell you that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them.... We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us." (Ch. 22)
In other words, Atticus is the spiritual advocate for the community. After all, Miss Maudie points out, it was no accident that Judge Taylor selected Atticus to be the defense attorney for Tom Robinson. Surely, Miss Maudie suggests, the judge knew who would fight for moral justice for the wrongly accused Tom.
Further, when Atticus interrupts the Missionary Tea because he comes home to ask Calpurnia to accompany him to the Robinsons' house in order to inform Helen of Tom's death, Miss Maudie comforts Alexandra in her frustration with the Maycomb community. Miss Maudie asks Alexandra,
"Have you ever thought of it this way? Whether Maycomb knows it or not, we're paying the highest tribute we can pay a man. We trust him to do right." (Ch. 24)
Clearly, then, Atticus sets an example for the Maycomb community.