BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Rock City Church Pastor Mike McClure was at the Boutwell Auditorium Friday preparing for Emantic Bradford, Jr.'s funeral.
Pastor McClure says his message for those attending Saturday will be about unity and hope. “We are not sure how many people are coming, but it’s my prayer tomorrow as many young people that come that they leave to be inspired to live the best life they can live,” said McClure.
The eulogy will be provided by civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson.
McClure says E.J. Bradford and his mother April Pipkins attended his church. “For one day, lets refrain from negative comments. Refrain from racist statements. Let’s refrain from all activity and make Saturday about the Bradford family,” McClure said.
McClure hopes everyone will see the pain of a mother and realize this could have been their child. The pastor said there will be security provided by Birmingham Police officers. The Auditorium for the event could seat up to 3,600. “We are asking you to come. We will have security for the event. We are praying it’s safe, healthy, whole environment that we can start the healing process,” McClure said
Pastor McClure said the funeral starts at 10 a.m., but they are encouraging people to get there by 9 a.m. Those who have protested the shooting are expected to march from the 16th Street Baptist Church to Boutwell Auditorium.
Meanwhile, McClure and others are hoping Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis will release information Monday to shed more light on the shooting.
The funeral can be watched here.