The funeral for Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings is ongoing in hometown of Baltimore Friday morning.
Bishop Walter S. Thomas Jr. of New Psalmist began the ceremony in a moment of silence as a military honor guard unfolded an American flag across Cummings’ casket.
Pictures of Cummings throughout his career hung on a sprawling sage behind the speaker’s podium.
Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren delivered readings from the Old Testament as one of the first politicians invited to speak at the ceremony.
Following the brief readings, one of Cummings’s favorite lyrical artists, BeBe Winans, sang along with the New Psalms Choir, bringing the audience to their feet.
Former Secretary of State Clinton first offered her condolences to Cummings’ wife, Maya and reflected on his legacy, comparing him to the Elijah of the Bible.
“Like the prophet, our Elijah could call down fire from heaven — but he also prayed and worked for healing,” she said.
To long applause, Clinton added, “Like that Old Testament prophet, he stood against corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel.”
Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume of Maryland, a former president and CEO of the NAACP, followed Pelosi and reminisced on his personal, lifelong relationship with Cummings.
“So what shall we say of him long after that last pebble of dirt is tossed to seal his grave?” he said. “Above all, to those who knew and loved him, he was simply a good man with a good heart.”
Mentor and friend Larry Gibson, who befriended Cummings in law school, told the audience that the Cummings we saw in public was the same man in private life, as well.
“There was nothing phony about him … Elijah was kind and respectful to people in life,” he said. “He felt hurt when he thought he unintentionally offended someone.”
As Cummings regularly attended New Psalms Baptist Church in Baltimore, Deaconess Margaret Ann Howie discussed his commitment to their house of worship. She said that with his dedication to the church, he brought his friends along with him, including former President Clinton, who was in attendance.
Following another passionate song from the New Psalmist Choir, Cummings’ daughter, Jennifer Cummings, read a letter she wrote to her father to thank him for everything he taught her, saying she “knew this day would come” but “never thought it would be so soon.”
Post Credit – ABC News