'High-Energy' Service Recalls Muhammad Ali

The Louisville Lip is remembered in his hometown
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 5, 2016 6:22 PM CDT
'High-Energy' Service Recalls Muhammad Ali
Parishioner Dorothy Lindon wipes her eyes while observing a moment of silence for Muhammad Ali during a service at King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church where Ali's father worshipped and where Ali would occasionally accompany him, Sunday, June 5, 2016, in Louisville, Ky.   (DG)

Muhammad Ali's younger brother wept, swayed to hymns, and hugged anyone he could reach. He raised his hands to the sky, eyes closed, surrounded by congregants at the church where their father once worshipped. Rahaman Ali took center stage at the two-hour, high-energy service at King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church, sitting in a front-row pew with his wife, Caroline, the AP reports. It was one of several emotional remembrances Sunday as the city joined together to mourn its most celebrated son, the Louisville Lip. Ali's body was returned to his grieving hometown for the final time, and an airplane carrying the boxing great's body landed Sunday afternoon.

At his father's church, the congregation stood in tribute, prayed for the former three-time heavyweight champion and his family and even dug into their pockets, filling a collection plate for Rahaman and his wife as a show of support. Speakers included Rev. Charles Elliott Jr.—who knew Ali for decades and remembered his generous donation to a program feeding the city's hungry—and Elliott's son, assistant pastor Charles Elliott III, who recalled Ali's comical side. The younger Elliott said that in Ali's family home, there was an elevator with a parrot who called out: "Here comes the champ, here comes the champ." (Later this week, politicians, celebrities, and fans from around the globe are expected for a Friday memorial service that Ali planned himself with the intent of making it open to all.)

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