John Lewis ‘celebration of life’ includes Atlanta funeral, stops in Alabama, Washington

04/08/2019 -- Atlanta, Georgia -- U.S. Congressman John Lewis poses for a portrait in front of his newly unveiled art exhibit "John Lewis-Good Trouble" in the atrium of the domestic terminal at Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, Monday, April 8, 2019. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

He will also lie in state or repose at each locale, including the U.S. Capitol

John Lewis’ funeral will be Thursday at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, culminating a nearly weeklong ”celebration of life” that will include stops in Troy, Selma and Montgomery, Ala., and Washington.

He will also lie in state or repose at each locale, allowing members of the public to file past his casket. The family has requested that all participants wear masks, regardless of whether the event is indoors or outdoors.

The congressman from Georgia and civil rights icon died July 17 at age 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

ExploreFollow John Lewis coverage and updates by AJC staff from Troy to Atlanta

Each day of memorial services has been given a theme. Saturday’s is “The Boy from Troy.”

A public memorial is planned for 10 a.m. CDT at Troy University’s Trojan Arena. Seating is limited to 800 people, and tickets must be obtained outside of the facility to attend.

Members of Lewis’ family will speak and gospel artist Dottie Peoples is scheduled to perform. Lewis will lie in repose from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT at the same location.

Later that evening there will be a service at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma, which is the church where Lewis and other activists received attention after being beaten during a 1965 voting rights protest that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Lewis will lie in repose outside Brown Chapel from 8 to 11 p.m. CDT.

Crowds will likely line the street Sunday morning at 10 a.m. CDT to see Lewis cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time. The theme of the day: “Good Trouble.”

ExploreMarch 2020: John Lewis surprises marchers on Pettus Bridge in Selma

Alabama state officials will receive Lewis’ casket in at the Capitol in Montgomery, and he will lie in state there from 3 to 7 p.m. CDT.

Monday and Tuesday have been given the theme “Conscience of the Congress.” A private ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

His casket will then be moved to the East Front Steps for a public viewing. Members of the public will be allowed to line up on the East Plaza to file past Lewis’ casket on Monday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

He reaches Atlanta, his final resting place, on Wednesday. The theme: “Atlanta’s Servant Leader.”

Lewis will lie in state at the Georgia Capitol Rotunda from 3 to 7 p.m. and again from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. the next morning. Members of the public will again receive the opportunity to file past his casket.

Members of his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, will host a special service at the Capitol at 7 p.m.

Details about Thursday’s funeral have not yet been announced other than the location, Lewis’ home church, and that the private service will begin at 11 a.m.

Lewis will be buried Thursday at South-View Cemetery.

ExploreSpecial presentation: Remembering John Lewis 1940-2020

Although funeral organizers have spread events across various locales, they are still encouraging people not to travel in order to participate because they are worried about the spread of the coronavirus. Instead, Lewis’ family is urging people to watch from home and have arranged for events to be both broadcast on TV and livestreamed.

Mourners are also encouraged to tie a blue or purple ribbon on their front doors or in their yards to commemorate Lewis’ life. Blue is the color of his fraternity; purple is the ribbon color for pancreatic cancer.

The family is also setting up a website, johnlewislegacy.org, where people can post tributes to Lewis. They are also encouraging the use of hashtags #BelovedCommunity or #HumanDignity on social media.

On AJC: Read and sign the online guestbook for Congressman John Lewis

ExploreMan of the people: Everyday people share stories of meeting John Lewis at stores, airports, in the community
ExploreRemembering John Lewis: Full coverage from the AJC