Yesterday, the country lost Maryland Congressman Rep. Elijah Cummings. After several health issues, died early Thursday morning. He was only 68 years old. Now, his funeral arrangements have been released to the public.
According to The Baltimore Sun, the wake and funeral will be held at New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, which is the church where he worshiped for nearly four decades, on Friday, Oct. 25. A statement from the church said, “The wake, including a public viewing, will begin Oct. 25 at 8 a.m. at the Lochearn church, spokeswoman Joi Thomas said. The funeral will follow at 10 a.m.
Bishop Walter S. Thomas, Jr., who has been the pastor since 1975, will deliver the eulogy. The church reportedly seats 4,000 people.
Elijah Eugene Cummings was born Jan. 18, 1951, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was a graduate of Howard University and the University of Maryland School of Law. He became a member of the Maryland House of Delegates in 1983 and by 1996 he was the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland’s 7th District.
He had been a respected Congressman for more than 20 years.
The shocking news came after Cummings, the ranking chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, recently announced that he was having a medical procedure but never returned to his Capitol Hill offices afterward, according to the Baltimore Sun. That announcement came on Sept. 30 and said that he was only expected to miss about two weeks of work.
Tuesday would have been his first day back to work following his medical procedure. Instead, he ended up missing that day’s House roll call vote.
According to his official House bio, Cummings “began his career of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years and became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem. Since 1996, Congressman Cummings has proudly represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Cummings had been hospitalized last year after he was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital for a bacterial infection in his knee, which the congressman’s office described at the time as a minor procedure. That hospitalization prompted his wife to suspend her Democratic primary campaign for Maryland governor in January of 2018. Prior to that, Cummings was hospitalized in May of 2017 after undergoing “minimally invasive” heart surgery. It was a procedure to correct a narrowing of the aortic valve. It was unclear if his death early Thursday morning was related to either of those procedures.
However, in his final hours, Cummings was still pushing policy. Rep. Ayanna Pressley wrote on Twitter, As I was paying my respects to our forever Chairman, his staff told me that in his final hours he signed subpoenas to USCIS and ICE, pursuing justice for immigrants in my district & across the country with chronic medical conditions. A man of his word every moment of his life.”
Cummings is survived by his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, and their three children.
Rest in power, king.