- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

ATLANTA, GA. (AP) - The Rev. Joseph Lowery was recovering Monday after the civil rights icon was hospitalized following a dizzy spell as he greeted parishioners at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Lowery was the keynote speaker at a service to mark Ebenezer’s 123rd anniversary. Called “America’s Freedom Church,” the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached there from 1960 until his death in 1968.

The 88-year-old had preached for about 40 minutes, said the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor at Ebenezer.

“He was shaking hands and he just became a little weak and lost his balance,” Warnock said. “Within moments, he was able to respond to questions.”

Warnock said doctors in the congregation took a look at Lowery before the paramedics were called as a precaution. Warnock accompanied Lowery to the hospital and said he was doing fine Sunday evening.

“I think he just overdid it,” Warnock said. “By 5 p.m., he was sitting there talking to me, eating Mary Mac’s Southern cooking.”

Lowery’s condition was not immediately available, but Warnock said he was expected to be released from the hospital Monday.

Lowery, an Alabama native who worked alongside King, is a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and is known as the “Dean of the Civil Rights Movement.” Though he is officially retired from preaching, Lowery gave the benediction at President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January and is still an activist today, championing voting and human rights.

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