ATLANTA (AP) — Mourners gathered Saturday at an Atlanta church to honor former Gov. Carl Sanders and his efforts to improve civil rights in Georgia.

Morris News Service reports Gov. Nathan Deal and former Govs. Jimmy Carter and Roy Barnes were among those attending the memorial.

Sanders, a Democrat who served as governor from 1963 to 1967, died Nov. 16. In a speech, Barnes noted Sanders was elected the same day as George Wallace in Alabama, and that Sanders was accepting of desegregation while Wallace was defiant.

Barnes argued Sanders created a stable business climate with his actions, crediting him with helping metro Atlanta pass Birmingham as a regional leader.

Sanders, who in later years was a prominent member of Georgia’s legal community, was buried at a private ceremony Wednesday in Augusta.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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