ATLANTA – Coretta Scott King's funeral will be held Tuesday at the suburban Baptist church where the Kings' youngest child, Bernice, is a minister, according to the funeral director assisting the family with arrangements.
Willie A. Watkins, director of the Willie Watkins Funeral Home in Atlanta, said Thursday that the funeral was planned for noon at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, a church with the capacity to hold about 10,000 people.
The church's leader, Bishop Eddie Long, had volunteered his private plane to escort King's children as they brought their mother's body back to Atlanta on Wednesday.
The 78-year-old widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. died Tuesday in Rosarito, Mexico, where she was seeking treatment for advanced ovarian cancer. She suffered a heart attack and stroke in August. Medical officials listed her cause of death as respiratory failure.
The King family hadn't responded yet to an offer from Gov. Sonny Perdue for a public viewing at the Georgia Capitol.
Family spokesman Chris Garrett said Thursday that "the family is in the process of finalizing the details" for the funeral and burial.
The family is considering having King's body buried at the historically black Southview Cemetery in Atlanta, said Winifred Hemphill, the cemetery association's president.
Martin Luther King Jr. was originally buried at Southview in the same crypt that now lies in the courtyard of the King Center, near Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached in the years before his death. That tomb is a single-person crypt, Hemphill said.
Southview Cemetery was started by nine former slaves in 1886 and is where Martin Luther King Jr.'s parents and maternal grandparents are buried.
The King family has not commented on the arrangements. The King Center issued a statement Wednesday that said the family will hold a news conference in "the next few days to discuss the status of arrangements and 'possibly' preliminary autopsy results."