John Lewis, the celebrated civil-rights movement leader and congressman, will be honored at one final funeral service before he is laid to rest at the South-View Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday.
The service, which will take place at the Ebenezer Baptist Church — the historic church once led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — is not open to the public due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, but it will be live-streamed on C-SPAN at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET and via PBS News in the video above beginning at 7:30 a.m. PT/10:30 a.m. ET.
Thursday’s funeral service will mark the end of a six-day celebration of his life, which first started in Lewis’ hometown of Troy, Alabama, on Saturday. His casket was then taken across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and to the Alabama State Capitol on Sunday, through Washington, D.C. and to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Monday and Tuesday and to the Georgia State Capitol on Wednesday. After the Thursday service at the church, Lewis will be laid to rest at the South View Cemetery.
Lewis died earlier this month at the age of 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Along with King, James Farmer, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young, Lewis was a member of the “Big Six” who helped organize the 1963 March on Washington. He was also an integral figure in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery protests, where he led a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma that was met by immense violence from state troopers on a day now known as “Bloody Sunday.” The incident, in which a trooper cracked Lewis’ skull with a club and many others protesters were subjected to horrific violence, helped raise awareness and galvanize support for the Voting Rights Act that was passed into law later that year. And after being elected to Congress in 1986, Lewis’ legacy of activism — which he continued up until his death — garnered him the nickname of “the conscience of Congress.”