Rev. J.C. Smith, profiled on WGN, dies at 86

HARVEY, Ill. -- Funeral services will be held Thursday for a legendary minister from suburban Harvey, who was at the forefront of the civil rights movement decades ago down south.

The Rev. J.C. Smith was the founder of The Bethlehem Temple Baptist Church in Harvey.

He passed away last week at his home at the age of 86.

A native of Alabama, he gave rides to people in his car in 1955 during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Smith once said "it was a disgrace" when people don't exercise their right to vote, as so much blood was shed for the right to do so.

A final viewing is set for 9 a.m., with the funeral beginning at 11 a.m.

We profiled smith last year in WGN's series highlighting "Chicago's Very Own." Check it out below: