The procession filed into the Mobile Convention Center amid music and prayers.
Dr. Kennedy's casket was topped by red roses and lilies, and the service was shown on two large screens. Bishop Teresa Snorton, Presiding Bishop, Fifth Episcopal District, CME Church, gave the invocation.
She said, "We thank you Lord for the life of this woman who was truly your daughter."
Among the speakers offering tributes were Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley.
Mayor Jones said of Dr. Kennedy, "She has provided the service that the Lord blessed us to provide, and we have been blessed with her being here. And, I believe the Master has already said, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant, well done.' "