C.T. Vivian’s private funeral service Thursday to be livestreamed



Horse-drawn carriage will carry his casket through Atlanta

C.T. Vivian, who was born in Missouri and earned his civil rights stripes in places like Illinois, Tennessee and Alabama, will lie in state Wednesday at the Georgia State Capitol Building.

Vivian, the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient who moved to Atlanta in the 1970s, died last Friday at his home at the age of 95.

Following the three-hour viewing, a horse-drawn open carriage will take Vivian’s casket from the Capitol to the crypt of one his closest allies, Martin Luther King Jr.

Vivian’s casket is expected to arrive at the Capitol at 11:30 a.m. and be moved to the rotunda. At noon, the Vivian family will be received by Gov. Brian Kemp, who will escort them to the rotunda.

Vivian’s casket will be covered by the Georgia flag.

In 1968, then-Gov. Lester Maddox refused to allow the body of Martin Luther King Jr. to lie in state after the civil rights leader was assassinated.

It would be another 38 years before an African American would finally lie in state as Coretta Scott King also became the first woman to be honored in 2006.

The last person to lie in state was former state Sen. Leroy Johnson, the first African American elected to Georgia’s upper chamber since Reconstruction, who died last October.

At 3:30 p.m. a horse-drawn carriage will carry Vivian north on Piedmont Avenue to Auburn Avenue.

Mourners are expected to line the route of the processional.

The carriage will stop at the national headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where Vivian was the director of national affiliates in the 1960s and national president in 2012.

The carriage will conclude in front of King’s crypt tomb located in Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park.

Vivian’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Providence Missionary Baptist Church. The services will be private, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it will be streamed on the Providence website and through WSB-TV.