Local church holds Nelson Mandela memorial - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Local church holds Nelson Mandela memorial

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    Mandela buried in rolling hills of S Africa

    Sunday, December 15 2013 10:09 PM EST2013-12-16 03:09:57 GMT
    His flag-draped casket resting on a carpet of animal skins, Nelson Mandela was laid to rest Sunday in the green, rolling hills of the eastern hamlet where he began his extraordinary 
     
    His flag-draped casket resting on a carpet of animal skins, Nelson Mandela was laid to rest Sunday in the green, rolling hills of the eastern hamlet where he began his extraordinary journey — one that led him from prison to the presidency, a global symbol of endurance and reconciliation in the fight against South Africa's racist rule.
     

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A local church honors the memory of Nelson Mandela hours after the beloved South African leader is laid to rest.

Thousands of people gathered in Mandela's childhood village of Qunu to bid farewell to the iconic leader.

And Sunday, a local bishop who had the pleasure of meeting Mandela led his congregation in a memorial honoring his memory. 

Inside St. Stephen's Cathedral praise was given to God, and honor given to the memory of an icon named Mandela. 

"He is among the great influences of the last 100 years," Bishop George Dallas McKinney said. 

Bishop George McKinney couldn't think of a better way to spend his Sunday service than by paying tribute to Nelson Mandela. A walking example of the teachings he preaches. 

"He was a peacemaker and his commitment to justice and peace and righteousness brought peace to his nation and brought a wonderful influence to all the world," Bishop McKinney said. 

He spoke of Nelson Mandela's accomplishments, and the peaceful way he dealt with conflict. A message that rings true Sunday, no matter if you're in South Africa or Southeast San Diego. 

"Specially in our community where we have so much going on," Ramona Harris said. "That message today was perfect because we need peace and joy back in our neighborhoods. I think him honoring Mandela...it will help us heal." 

"Goodbye my friend, my mentor, my leader," Ahmed Kathrada, a friend of Mandela, said.

The tribute follows the final goodbye in South Africa as the former leader was laid to rest. 

There was singing and dancing before a formal service where friends and family remembered a national hero, who came from nothing. 

"He went to school barefoot and yet rose to the highest office of the land," Nandi Mandela, Mandela's granddaughter, said. 

Bishop McKinney puts Mandela right up there with Gandhi and Martin Luther Ling Jr. All great examples of peace for his parishioners. 

"The way to deal with the enemy or with hostile situations or injustice is not through vengeance or attempting an eye for an eye but it was through forgiveness and the pursuit of peace with justice," he said. 

Mandela was buried in tribal tradition at midday when the sun is highest in the sky.

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