C.T. Vivian Remembered as a Fighter for Justice

Private funeral held in Atlanta

Maria Boynton
July 23, 2020 - 1:48 pm
Funeral service for C.T. Vivian was held Thursday at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA

(Photo Credit: Providence Missionary Baptist Church)

A private service was held Thursday for the late Civil Rights pioneer Rev. C.T. Vivian.  It was held at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta.

The service included video footage of Vivian’s challenges as a Man of the Movement. It included the story of Vivian and others, wearing swim shorts as they aimed at integrating a Florida beach as the Ku Klux Klan pushed to thwart their efforts.

Among the video tributes were President candidate Joe Biden, Oprah Winfrey, baseball Hall of Famer Hank and wife Billye Aaron and Civil Rights legend Andrew Young.

Upon taking the podium, Al Vivian, son of Rev. C.T. Vivian said “how do you say your final goodbye to the finest person you have ever known.”

Son Mark E. Vivian said that his father showed “how to be a husband, how to love your wife. If she’s sick, to be there for her. That’s the person you pull your strength from and as long as you’re there for here, there’s no separation.” Mark Vivian added “I had a dad. I had somebody”, as he became choked up said, “when I needed advice, when I needed looking up to, when I needed to hear someone say ‘I love you’.”

Longtime friend and assistant Don Rivers remembered Rev. Vivian as a gentleman who loved everyone. “It was never about the money, never about fame, it has always been about the people.” Rivers said that Vivian “never looked for or wanted any recognition”, adding, “He truly lived by the Greek word ‘Agape’, meaning giving unselfishly without looking for anything in return.”

As he ended his tribute to Vivian, Rivers, through tears said, “The world is a better place because of you Dr. Vivian, and I love you so much and I’m going to miss you tremendously.”