BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Thousands gathered at New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore Friday at a funeral for Rep. Elijah Cummings.
The funeral brought former presidents and ordinary people alike to the Baltimore church where the congressman worshipped for four decades.
Maryland lawmakers were also in attendance and reflected on the life of Rep. Cummings.
Senator Ben Cardin was among the group of elected officials.
“It’s a sad moment. We lost our champion for social justice,” Cardin said. “But it’s a day to celebrate what an incredible life, what an accomplishment. How he mentored so many people. The funeral will be sad, but it will also be a celebration of a person who had a remarkable life.”
Rep. John Sarbanes said it will be “very tough” not to have Congressman Cummings anymore.
“He was a giant. He was an anchor in the storm of what’s happening in our politics these days,” Sarbanes said. “We really relied on him heavily. But I like to think he left us with the power we need to continue the fight.”
On Thursday, Cummings became the first African American lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol.
Cummings, a black sharecropper’s son and civil rights leader who rose to power in Washington over two decades ago with his sonorous voice and powerful oratory, died Oct. 17 at age 68 while locked in political combat with President Donald Trump.