ATLANTA, Ga. (WRBL) – Presidents, dignitaries, family, friends, and leaders from around the country came together to honor the life and legacy of late Congressman John Lewis Thursday in Atlanta.

A funeral service for Lewis was held at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The Civil Rights icon served in Congress for more than three decades. 

Three former United States Presidents attended the service in person: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

Former President Jimmy Carter was unable to attend the service in person due to COVID-19. He is sheltering at his home in Plains, Georgia. The 95-year-old former president sent a letter of condolences to the family and friends of Lewis.

The letter, read aloud by Rev. Raphael Warnock, is below:

“To the friends and family of the Congressman John Lewis: 

Rosalynn joins me in sending our condolences to all gathered today to mourn the loss of one of our nation’s great leaders.

Throughout his remarkable life, John has been a blessing to countless people. We are proud to be among those whose lives he has touched.

While his achievements are enjoyed by all Americans, we Georgians know him as our neighbor, friend and representative. His enormous contributions will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come.

Please know you are in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time. We hope your warm memories and the love and prayers of your family and friends will be comfort to you in the days ahead.

Jimmy Carter

Lewis passed away at the age of 80 on July 17 after battling pancreatic cancer. He will be laid to rest at South-View Cemetery.