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Detroit says goodbye to Benjamin Hooks

April 20, 2010 at 12:00 PM   |   Comments

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DETROIT, April 20 (UPI) -- Hundreds of mourners showed up at Detroit's Greater New Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church to pay final respects to civil rights icon Benjamin Hooks.

Hooks, who died last week at the age of 85, lay in repose for six hours at the church he led from 1964 to 1994, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.

The former NAACP executive director was also a pastor of Greater Middle Baptist Church in Memphis for 52 years until his retirement in 2009.

Following Monday's viewing at New Mount Moriah, Hooks' body was flown to Memphis for viewing Tuesday at Greater Middle Baptist Church.

Funeral services are planned Wednesday at Bountiful Blessings Temple of Deliverance COGIC in Memphis.

"He never lost the common touch," said the Rev. Kenneth Flowers, New Mount Moriah's current pastor. "Reverend Hooks was an institution himself."

Judges gathered in front of the church for a photo to commemorate Hooks' passing and to pay their respects, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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