ATLANTA (AP) — The funeral for the Rev. C.T. Vivian, an early and key adviser to the Rev. Martin Luther King, is to be held Thursday.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the service will be private and open only to family, according to a news release from the C.T. and Octavia Vivian Museum and Archives. It is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, and is to be will be streamed live online and broadcast by WSB-TV.
Vivian, 95, died at home in Atlanta of natural causes on Friday, the same day that fellow civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis died.
“The family is heartbroken at the loss of our father, but proud of his lifelong work to free America from its tradition of racism, hate and violence," his daughter Denise Morse said in the the release. "He loved all mankind and will be missed."
Vivian began staging sit-ins against segregation in Peoria, Illinois, in the 1940s — a dozen years before lunch-counter protests by college students made national news. He met King soon after the budding civil rights leader’s leadership of the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, and helped translate ideas into action by organizing the Freedom Rides that forced federal intervention across the South.
Former President Barack Obama honored Vivian with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
Instead of flowers, the family is asking for contributions to be made towards the preservation of the collection as well as continuing his legacy by supporting The C.T. and Octavia Vivian Museum & Archives, Inc.