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Pallbearers carry the casket of Rev. William “Bill” Lawson into sanctuary of the original Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church for a community celebration on Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Houston. Known for being a “Houston’s Pastor,” Lawson was the founding pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church who helped lead the Houston’s racial desegregation in the 1960s and continued to be a civil rights leader and spiritual guide throughout his life. He retired from the pulpit in 2004, but remained active in the church until his death on May 14 at age 95.