GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Civil Rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson was among those remembering Lottie Gibson at a visitation service Thursday. The long-time activist and Greenville County Council woman passed away Sunday after a long illness.
People were filing in and out of Springfield Baptist Church to pay their respects to a woman who’s touched the lives of people from all walks of life. Music filled the walls as an audience reflected on the life and legacy of Gibson.
“Lottie helped tear down walls that divided and tore us apart,” said Rev. Jackson. “Lottie is a lot of people built into one so I had to come home to be with her family for this moment of celebration of her great life.”
Gibson served Greenville for decades as a councilwoman and an advocate for anyone she could help.
“I just remember Ms. Gibson talking to me on the phone and telling me that even though I was doing the wrong thing – I committed crimes – that I should be treated like everybody else,” said John Cartee. “Miss Gibson was an inspiration to me. She helped me.”
He says she touched his life forever. It’s a sentiment shared by Phyllis Jones.
“She gave me so much love,” Jones said as she wiped away a tear. “I love Mrs. Gibson. I met her about 40 years ago She always helped me with any problems that I had.”
Rev. Jackson says Gibson touched individual lives, all while leaving her mark on history itself.
“When the walls of segregation came down, she was a big factor in that,” he said. For that and more he says she’s terribly missed. “There’s a hole down there where my heart was.”
Lottie Gibson’s funeral will be held Friday at 11:00 a.m. at Springfield Baptist Church