At the church he loved in life, those who loved congressman Elijah Cummings will say goodbye in death | 10/18/2019 | Staff
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For nearly 40 years, late Democratic congressman from Maryland Elijah E. Cummings worshiped at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore. And his longtime pastor, Bishop Walter Thomas, says he could always count on him “being in church” as long as he wasn’t working elsewhere.

Elijah - Church - Thomas - Baltimore - Sun

“I could count on Elijah being in church,” Thomas told The Baltimore Sun Thursday in the wake of the congressman’s sudden death.

Even as the congressman battled longstanding health problems which he succumbed to at approximately 2:45 a.m. Thursday, Thomas said Cummings worked hard to show up, regularly attending “the crack-of-dawn service” at 7:15 a.m. on Sundays where he would sit in the front row.

Chair - Person - Thomas - Publication

“If he was in his chair, he was there. If he was walking, he was there. He was still up front. He was not a back-seat person," Thomas told the publication.

And that’s why, when Thomas got news that Cummings had died on Thursday, he felt like he had fallen into a hole that he couldn’t climb out of as he thought of his regular Sunday morning worshiper.

Thing - Morning - My - Spirit - Hole

“That’s the first thing that came to me in the morning, and I dropped. My spirit dropped as if in a hole that I thought I would not come out of,” Thomas recalled in an interview with CBS' affiliate in Baltimore.

Cummings, he said, was a friend who “to remember him is to remember a giant.”

Plans - World - Farewell - Cummings - Thomas

As plans are being made for the world to formally say farewell to Cummings, Thomas told The Baltimore Sun that he expects the funeral service to celebrate the life of the late “Brother Elijah Cummings” will be at New Psalmist’s 4,000-seat sanctuary with his spiritual family that he loved.

“He’s the congressman, but to members, he is Brother Elijah Cummings. ... He’s...
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