The Second Missionary Baptist Church was packed for Almeta Crayton’s funeral ceremony on Friday. Crayton was the first black woman to serve on the Columbia City Council and represented the First Ward for three terms between 1999 and 2008.
Crayton was a member of the Fairview Road Church of Christ in Columbia. Reverend Brian Hajicek is the pastor of the church. He said Crayton was loved by the community.
“She’s an amazing person," Hajicek said. "So many people showed up because she is so loved, and because she did so much for so many people. I think that’s why so many people were there.”
Crayton was known for hosting the “Everyone Eats" community Thanksgiving dinner for the past fifteen years. Firefighter Danny Spry worked with Crayton for many years on the program. He said it is important to continue Crayton’s efforts to preserve her legacy.
“You have to ask yourself, are you going to carry this legacy on? Are you going to do it for the right name? Are you going to do it for the right reason? And the right reason is for the human heart, the human soul,” Spry said.
Crayton passed away on Oct. 21 after spending two weeks in the hospital. She was buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Columbia.