On August 30, 2009, renowned evangelist Edward Earl Cleveland died at Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, Alabama. He was 88. Cleveland worked for more than 60 years as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, evangelist, church leader, teacher, and civil rights leader.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended one of Cleveland’s tent meetings in 1954 in Montgomery and the two created a lasting friendship. Also in attendance for at least one night of the meetings were local seamstress, Rosa Parks and the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy.
Cleveland marched in several civil rights marches, including the March on Washington. Cleveland describes his involvement in the civil rights movement in a sermon he delivered during Black History Month on February 11, 2006.