Family, friends, dignitaries, elected officials and community leaders gathered Tuesday to remember the life of Rayshard Brooks at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
The 27-year-old Black man was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer on the night of June 12th. His death sparked national and international outrage.
According to a press release, Brooks’ family selected Ebenezer Baptist Church for the private funeral service because of its global historic presence.
“We’re here to provide ministry as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” said Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, Senior Pastor of Ebenezer. “It’s Ebenezer’s mission to show up in a time like this, especially given the way he lost his life.”
Pastor Warnock added: “Rayshard was not a member of our church but his loved ones are a part of our family. We are a sanctuary for the suffering. We are a house of prayer for all people.”
Notable guests included Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms, former Mayor Kasim Reed, Rev. Bernice King, former Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams, rapper/actor/activist T.I. (pictured hugging Tomika Miller) and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris.
Due to Covid-19, only 200 guests were allowed inside the sanctuary, which was marked for social distancing.
Singers Kelly Price, Yolanda Adams, Pastor Smokie Norful, actress/singer Tamela Mann, Kurt Carr all provided songs of comfort.
Rev. Bernice King, daughter of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., addressed the crowd saying, “Having a father killed when I was only 5 years of age, my heart deeply grieves for [his daughters] Dream, Memory, Blessing and [stepson] Mekai. I know the pain of growing up without a father and the ongoing attention around his tragic loss. I am and will continue to pray for each of you.”
During writing a eulogy, Rev. Warnock reflected on the time he’s spent with Brooks’ family in the past few days. “I met 8- year-old Blessing, such a sweet and precious child,” he told the congregation.
“On the same day her father was killed, they had been celebrating her 8th birthday. What do you do with that when you’re 8-years-old? These precious children of God will need the village to surround them and support them and embrace them and love on them and reassure them that they are not alone.”
Today’s service can be viewed on the church’s website, www.EbenezerATL.org.
Source: Press release