50th Commemorative Memorial Service Held for Rev. A D King at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church
Rev. A. D. King, brother of Martin Luther King, Jr. was remembered this past week at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in a Memorial Service organized by Dr. Babs Onabanjo, Founder and CEO of the A. D. King Foundation.
Rev. Alfred Daniel Williams King was the younger brother of Martin Luther King, Jr., his confidant and chief strategist. Both MLK and A. D. followed in the footsteps of their father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr.; both MLK and A. D. were active in the civil rights movement; both died in their late 30s and both their deaths were shrouded in mystery. Rev. A. D. King dedicated his life to building a beloved community. He was also committed to the ideals of non-violent social change and direct action as a means of effecting change.
Mrs. Naomi Ruth Barber King, wife of A. D. King, paid tribute to the legacy of her husband as did others including Dr. Babs Onabanjo, Founder and CEO of the A. D. King Foundation. A.D. King played a vital role in the civil rights movement. He was arrested along with his brother Martin and 70 others while participating in an October 1960 lunch-counter sit-in in Atlanta. In 1963, A. D. King became a leader of the Birmingham Campaign while a pastor at First Baptist Church of Ensley. The Birmingham Campaign was a model of nonviolent direct action protest that drew world-wide attention to racial segregation in the South and paved the way for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The subsequent Selma Campaign compelled the U.S. Congress to enact the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Rev. A.D. King also led the Open Housing Campaign in Louisville Kentucky which resulted in the National Open Housing Act of 1968.
A.D. King often traveled with his brother and was with him in Memphis on April 4, 1968, when MLK was shot dead at the Lorraine Hotel. Following the death of MLK, .A.D. King returned to Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was installed as co-pastor and continued to fight for civil rights. On July 21, 1969, nine days before his 39th birthday, A. D. King was found dead in the swimming pool at his home. His widow Naomi King, his widow, said, “There is no doubt in my mind that the system killed my husband.” The mother of MLK and A.D. King was killed five years later while playing the organ in a morning service at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore was among those present for the Memorial Service. He stated: “It was truly an
honor to be among those present for the 50th Anniversary Memorial Service and to listen to the words of love and faith spoken by Mrs. Naomi King and others as they reflected on the life of Rev. A. D. King. IIPT is also proud to have had both Mrs. Naomi King and Dr. Babs Onabanjo as featured speakers at the recent IIPT World Forum in South Africa honoring the legacies of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. and looks forward to continued collaboration with the A. D. King Foundation in our Global Peace Parks Project – particularly in Harrisburg where the IIPT Peace Promenade was launched with both Mrs. Naomi King and Dr. Babs Onabanjo.”
Watch Remembering A. D. King:
The A.D. King Foundation is a non-profit organization, dedicated to highlighting Rev. A.D. Williams King’s enormous contributions to the civil rights movement. An extra-ordinary life of dedication, service, unconditional support for his brother, the movement, America and the world. The Foundation is intended to educate the public about the real history of the civil rights movements, the strategies employed, the timing, the circumstances and the role of the legends of the movement. More importantly the movement was a spiritual movement. To God be the glory.
The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is a not for profit organization dedicated to fostering travel and tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding, cooperation among nations, an improved quality of environment, cultural enhancement and the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, reconciliation and healing wounds of conflicts; and through these initiatives, helping to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world. It is founded on a vision of the world’s largest industry, travel and tourism – becoming the world’s first global peace industry; and the belief that every traveler is potentially an “Ambassador for Peace.”