- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
MLK’s voice fills his restored church
Recordings part of re-opening of Ebenezer Baptist
Question of the Day
ATLANTA | The voice of the Rev. Martin Luther King again filled the halls of Ebenezer Baptist Church and a pipe organ triumphantly announced the reopening of the sanctuary regarded as the birthplace of the civil rights icon’s vision of justice, equality and a nonviolent society.
The King family was joined Friday by members of the civil rights movement and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in celebrating the reopening of Ebenezer, called the cornerstone of King’s legacy. Mr. Salazar said the church is “hallowed ground for a nation still very much in progress.”
“To be here this afternoon is to feel that history and remember out personal connection,” Mr. Salazar told the people gathered in the building, which was closed to visitors in 2007.
Ebenezer’s Heritage Sanctuary has been restored to its original appearance from 1960 to 1968, when King was co-pastor with his father. Work began on the $8 million project in 2000 and includes a return of the original pulpit furniture and furnishings, architectural and paint finishes, the baptismal pool and choir loft.
It also restored King’s most important title: preacher, said his youngest daughter, Bernice King, who delivered the keynote address at the ceremony.
“I’m happy that so many people will come to this place … that will stand as a reckoning point for millions of people all around the world,” she said. “You must remember always the pastor and the pastor’s mission: to redeem the soul of America. He loved God. He obeyed God, and he loved God’s people.”
Excerpts of King’s most famed sermons were piped into the sanctuary before the ceremony began.
“Much comes to my mind as I stand here this afternoon, because I grew up in Ebenezer,” said a smiling Martin Luther King III, president and chief executive officer of the King Center.
His daughter, Yolanda Renee King, opened the ceremony by ringing a liberty bell near the pulpit.
“I can’t tell you how it feels to me to be standing here in this spot, in this place, at this hour,” Mr. Lowery said from the pulpit where King delivered his sermons more than four decades ago. “This church and this ministry have been significant in the history of this country for a long time. I thank God that it remains here to be seen.”
King was born just blocks from Ebenezer on Auburn Avenue in downtown Atlanta and grew up in the church. His father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. — known as “Daddy King” — preached there and was a civil rights activist. His grandfather, A.D. Williams, preceded him and also fought segregation during the early 20th century.
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq