Congressman Lewis, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr Raphael Warnock discussed on NPR Special Coverage


Before the covert pandemic, this church would be packed people would be sitting Very closely together nestled into the pews on this day, it is different. There's space between individuals and family members in order to preserve the restrictions. Off of the pandemic to make sure everyone is safe. On this day, the family of John Lewis has encouraged Their extended families, The friends, the colleagues, all the people who had wanted to be here on this day to stay at home toe hold their own services. To remember Congressman Lewis to watch remotely on DH to put ribbons on their doors to to signify that they'd our morning collectively. As we all are today, remembering John Lewis. And one of the first speakers that we will hear from today is the Reverend Dr Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. A CZ. We talked about Rachel home going services are especially poignant when we talk about elders in our community who are passing on, but someone of such significance in such a significant place. As you mentioned Covert 19 has really prevented people from packing the church. But there are so many people as we heard from Emma earlier today that are outside of the church. Who want to be able to see the casket who want to say I am here today for this historic moment, indeed, because there are we use the word iconic a lot. And over time it starts to lose its its power. That power is restored when attaching outward to the name of Congressman John Lewis. He is he is almost singular in American history for not only what he did at such a young age. In the civil rights movement. He was just in his very early twenties, when he addressed the march on Washington. He made such an indelible imprint on that movement at so many different junctures, And then he took that power. He used that moment, um that that desire for change and justice. And he went on the inside. He took it to the establishment he ran for office. He commited his life to making change in the system's instead of agitating from the outside. And so many people want to be a part of that. They want to teach their kids about that. They want to be here, if not in body, then in spirit to remember all all that he did for this country. Yeah, Let's bring in Debbie Elliot, who ahs we mentioned earlier. She she has known she'd known the congressman for many years. I mean that whole idea of feeling a moral obligation to speak up. And act out. That was that was the very foundation of Louis. He felt that is a moral obligation. He did, and he also really was committed to the whole idea of non violence as a means to reach your goals on DH. I think it's interesting that one of the speakers Lined up today to pay tribute to him is the Reverend James Lawson, a Methodist minister who was active in Nashville teaching nonviolent strategy to people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. When John Lewis was there in college, Reverend Lawson was a student of Gandhi, and he helped organize some of those sit in some of the first actions. That John Lewis took as a young man and as a young leader with this snick, the student Nonviolent Coordinating committee so A lot of people who know John Lewis from the beginning will be paying tribute today and talking about those values that formed his life view and his activism. And it's It's really we can't overstate it enough. Just looking. In hindsight, we can see what feels like such huge progress because of those actions that Luis and others took on act of non violence. But at the same time, it wasn't an easy step to take during that time. No, not at all. Um, you know, he he talked about facing what he considered to be terrorism. Terrorism sponsored by the United States government. Yeah. Hey, said there's a quote, he said. We were determined not to let any act of violence keep us from our goal. We knew our lives could be threatened, but we had made up our minds not to turn back. We're watching as the dignitaries file in Reverend Warnock Approaching. Walking through the sanctuary, we saw the entrance of President George W. Bush..

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