A couple thousand people packed an Atlanta church Saturday to say goodbye to the former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.Civil rights leader Rev. Howard Creecy, Jr., died last week from a heart attack.Creecy was named president of the SCLC this past January but his tenure didn’t last long.

Saturday’s service was a celebration of life, a home going as his family and friends called it, as friends and family said once last heartfelt final goodbye for Creecy.

“If you were happy, he made you happier while asking for nothing in return,” Interim SCLC President Issac Newton Farris, Jr. said about Creecy.

Farris was one of many who spoke to the standing room only congregation inside Jackson Memorial Baptist Church where more than 2,000 mourners said goodbye Saturday.

“We have lost an unbelievable brother, a friend, a neighbor,” Rep. John Lewis, D- Georgia, said.

Creecy’s close friends, politicians, past and president, delivered stories and a message of hope during Saturday’s funeral.

“Howard Creecy is not gone. He will be with you when you need him. You will hear his voice,” Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young said.

“Howard Creecy, Jr., our friend, our brother, may God almighty bless you, keep you and we will see you in the morning, Lewis said.

Creecy was viewed as a leader who could move the 54-year-old SCLC forward.

He’s credited with championing education, voting rights and AIDS awareness.

“Let us celebrate the wonderful spirit of this spiritual giant that we all love,” Yong said.

Creecy leaves behind a wife and two daughters. He was 57-year-old.

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