On Friday, April 15th IMAGES’ USA joined the National Park Service, the King Center, The King Family, the Sweet Auburn Community and the city of Atlanta to celebrate the grand re-opening of Heritage Sanctuary at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his father and grandfather served as pastors.
Approximately 500 former members, dignitaries, citizens and tourists filled the pews of the church to witness the historic occasion. Elder Bernice King, the youngest child of Coretta Scott King and Dr. King delivered a powerful, soul-stirring sermon reminiscent of her father. In a touching moment, Dr. King’s only grandchild, Yolanda Renee King rang the bell signaling the opening of the doors to the church.
The restoration project, which took more than 3-years to complete, was managed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site of the National Park Service. During that time, the church was closed to the public. Heritage Sanctuary has now been restored to its original state, the period when Dr. King was a child and was baptized at the age of 5.
Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Department of the Interior gave brief remarks along with National Park Director Jon Jarvis presented Mrs. Christine King Farris, sister and surviving sibling of Dr. King, with the National Park Services’ highest award, crowning her as an Honorary Park Ranger.
Following the grand re-opening celebration, visitors were once again able to tour the church, hear Dr. King’s sermons and capture the essence of one of this nation’s greatest visionaries.Heritage Sanctuary at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church is the cornerstone of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.
IMAGES USA Public Relations Director, Gwen Robinson served on the Steering Committee for the grand re-opening celebration.
We are proud to partner with other organizations and stakeholders in support of such a historic and memorable occasion!