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Change in plans for Minister Franklin Florence's memorial service; Sharpton unable to attend

Minister Franklin Florence.png
Ryan Williamson
CITY file photo
Minister Franklin Florence is seen at FIGHT Village apartments on Ward Street in this 2018 file photo.

There’s been a change in plans for the upcoming memorial service for Minister Franklin Florence, who died Feb. 1 at the age of 89.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who had been expected to speak at a Friday night service at the Central Church of Christ, 101 S. Plymouth Ave., will not be able to come to Rochester because of scheduling problems.

Other parts of the planned services are still in place, including a wake on Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Central Church of Christ, followed by a service there from 6 to 9 p.m. at that location.

There will also be a service on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Florida-based Minister W.F. Washington Sr. of the Golden Heights of Christ Church will officiate Saturday's service.

Florence was a key figure in Rochester’s civil rights history, rising to prominence after the July 1964 uprising in Rochester, and was the first president of the Black activist group FIGHT (Freedom, Independence, God, Honor, Today) and took on Eastman Kodak Co. over discriminatory hiring practices, creating the foundation for a more diverse corporate workforce.

FIGHT also rallied people on housing, policing and schools.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.