photo by Mehran Moin
In 1947, when he was 19, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his first sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue. Rev. John A. Parker, a former slave, founded the church in 1886 during Reconstruction at the original site on Airline Street.
Before King was advocating peaceful protest in the 1960s, in the 1920s his grandfather Rev. A.D. Williams urged members to start businesses, buy homes and seek adequate public accommodations.
The church, with other King landmarks, was designated as a National Historic Site in 1980. A new sanctuary was built across the street and serves over 6,000 members today.