Friends, loved ones bid farewell to Rev. Kyles - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Friends, loved ones bid farewell to Rev. Kyles

Reverend Billy Kyles (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives) Reverend Billy Kyles (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Friends and loved ones of Reverend Samuel "Billy" Kyles will say goodbye to the Civil Rights icon Thursday.

Rev. Kyles died April 26 at age 81.

The Reverend's public visitation will be held at National Civil Rights Museum, a landmark he helped found and supported throughout his life. The museum is located inside of the hotel where Rev. Kyles stood with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the day he was shot and killed.

Rev. Kyles' highly acclaimed story as the last "witness" to Dr. King's final hours will remain in the museum's Mountain Top Theatre as a permanent exhibit.

Until his death, Rev. Kyles fought for justice and equality and was a tremendous Civil Rights activist.

Rev. Kyles is remembered as a man of great courage, compassion, and faith.

"He had a pastor's heart,” Rev. Wade Bryant, who took over as pastor after Rev. Kyles retired, said. “He never wanted to do anything or be anyone else other than Pastor Samuel Billy Kyles."

There will be a public viewing for Rev. Kyles at the Mason Temple Church from 2 to 3:45 p.m. A community celebration of Rev. Kyles' life will follow at 4 p.m.

WMC Action News 5 will broadcast Reverend Kyles' funeral from Monumental Baptist Church on WMC5, WMCActionNews5.com, and the WMC5 mobile news app on Saturday beginning at 12 p.m.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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