Breaking News
More () »

Trailblazer C.T. Vivian remembered as resilient warrior during the movement

Everyone at the service had a message that this moment should inspire the next generation to dedicate their life to a purpose that makes the world a better place.

ATLANTA — Trailblazer and civil rights icon Rev. C.T. Vivian was honored with a heartfelt homegoing service at Providence Missionary Baptist Church, for tirelessly fighting against racism for more than 70 years of his life.

Vivian passed away at the age of 95, living to be more than twice the age of his dear friend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The service was limited to his family, close friends, and family members of significant civil rights leaders like Atlanta’s very own Hosea Williams, Dr. King, Joseph E. Lowery, and Julian Bond.

"How do you adequately say your final goodbye to the greatest person you've ever known?" his son, Al Vivian, asked.

C.T. Vivian was remembered for taking a stand by sitting down on lunch counters. Whether it was remaining on the front lines at marches or facing brutal confrontations, Vivian was always willing to sacrifice his life for the movement.

RELATED: 'A man that proved that good people don't finish last' | C.T. Vivian honored at Georgia Capitol

The first time he demonstrated was in 1947 at a lunch counter sit-in in Illinois. Vivian dedicated his life to demanding what America promised on paper – that all men are created equal. Vivian proved to the world during the harsh times that he was not tragically colored, but rather, God made him Black and he did it on purpose.

Whether it meant taking a beating, or facing a White mob without showing intimidation, Vivian lived to tell his story.

He was always at every pivotal moment during the movement - from the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Freedom Rides, the Children's Crusade, and the 1963 March on Washington.

RELATED: Horse-drawn carriage carries C.T. Vivian's casket through Atlanta in one of his final processions

He remained on the front lines and now reunites with those he stood alongside -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Hosea Williams, Ralph David Abernathy and Congressman John Lewis. Lewis and Vivian both passed away on the same day.

Everyone at the service had a strong message that this very moment should inspire the next generation to dedicate their life to a purpose that makes the world a better place then they found it.

"The world is a better place because of you Dr. Vivian," said his friend Don Rivers. "And Iove you so much. I'm going to miss you tremendously."


Jimmy, Rosalynn Carter work to raise $500K by the former president's birthday to help their hometown

Tributes to Rep. John Lewis shared by civil rights luminaries, colleagues, celebrities across the globe

C.T. Vivian's sons remember him as amazing father, 'greatest person you've ever known'