Sunday Memorial service planned for Rosa Parks

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2005

A memorial for Rosa Parks will be held at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church on Sunday, Oct. 30 in Greenville.

Parks, who helped spur the Civil Rights movement in Alabama by refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger in 1955 Montgomery, died on Oct. 24 at the age of 92.

Pastor Robert White, who helped organize the memorial service, said he had the chance to meet Parks when he was only a boy of eight-year's old.

&#8220I had a chance to shake her hand,” he recalled. &#8220Of course I was only eight, so it was only later on in life that I really understood the magnitude of who I had met.”

White said Parks was a franchise; someone who cast light on the lack of equality in Alabama and the rest of the south.

&#8220What she did lasted maybe 15 or 20 minutes and other people took it and ran from there,” he said.

Greenville City Councilman Jeddo Bell was an acquaintance of Parks and recalled a ‘quiet' woman. But he said she opened up considerably once she came to know who you were as a person.

&#8220She was very dynamic, but very soft spoken,” he said. &#8220I think she stands as a symbol to motivate people to stand up for what's right.”

White said a variety of speakers would lead the ceremony on Sunday, offering testimony of what Parks meant to themselves and the Civil Rights movement.

&#8220Of course everyone is invited to come out and join us,” he said. &#8220It's just our opportunity to honor her memory.”

In a released statement, Sen. Jeff Sessions said the nation owed Parks &#8220a great debt of thanks.”

&#8220Her life of grace and beauty, consistent with her Christian faith, has to a remarkable degree changed America for the better,” Sessions said. &#8220It is good and right that her historic actions are fully understood and remembered.”

The ceremony is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church is located at 1245 Fort Dale Road.