New York

Celebration of life begins for Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem

NEW YORK — Thursday marks the beginning of the ultimate celebration of life for Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts III.

Abyssinian Baptist Church opened its doorways for a wake for its senior pastor. His viewing started at 9 a.m., and well-wishers arrived nicely earlier than that to get their probability to say goodbye. 

CBS2’s Jessi Mitchell was there, as group members paid their respects. We’ve been sharing tales all week from the numerous lives touched by Butts in his 50 years main the church. 

Admiration for the nice chief introduced out extra smiles than tears, as church members and neighbors shared fond reminiscences. 

“He enriched my life. My spirit has to be here today because he gave me something that money can’t buy,” Peggy Benjamin instructed CBS2.


CBS2’s Elijah Westbrook remembers Harlem’s Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts

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Even those that by no means met the person acknowledged the impression he had

“He was a giant here, and to have that much love for you, that really means a lot,” John Adkins mentioned.

Charles Grayson grew to become a member at Abyssinian the primary time he heard Butts converse. He was among the many first in line to say farewell. 

“I fell in love with the church and I fell in love with him, because he was a very nice pastor,” he mentioned.

These emotions for Reverend Butts run deep — and hold his spirit alive. 

“With me, he’s still within my heart no matter what. As long I live, he’s still with me,” Walt Frazier mentioned. “That gentleman will never die within the people of the church or the community. One of a kind.”

There’s nonetheless time to pay your respects to Butts in particular person. The doorways will stay open till 7 p.m., and can reopen for viewing Friday morning from 9 to 11 a.m.

The dwelling going celebration for Butts begins at 2 p.m. Friday.

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