First Lady Michelle Obama and White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett will attend the funeral Friday of the legendary Bishop Arthur M. Brazier, pastor who built a 22,000-member South Side megachurch.
Bishop Brazier, 89, who had been battling prostate cancer for five years died last Friday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
President Obama and Mrs. Obama said in an Oct. 22 statement:
"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend, a stalwart of the city of Chicago, and one of our nation's leading moral lights, Bishop Arthur M. Brazier. Through his service as a pastor and his work on behalf of our communities, Bishop Brazier touched the lives of countless Americans.
"Bishop Brazier grew up during the Great Depression and never forgot how the sting of poverty can shape a community and a nation. A committed patriot, Bishop Brazier served as a staff sergeant in the United States Army in India and Burma at the height of World War II. He returned to Chicago where he promoted spiritual empowerment and economic development through his pastorate of Apostolic Church of God and leadership of numerous community organizations and charitable efforts.
"There is no way that we can replace the gentle heart and boundless determination that Bishop Brazier brought to some of the most pressing challenges facing Chicago and our nation. However, his spirit will live on through the parishioners, leaders and friends that he touched each day. Michelle and I join the Brazier family, the Apostolic Church of God, and all of Chicago in this moment of prayer and mourning, and in our commitment to ensure that Bishop Brazier's legacy lives on through our service to others."