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MLK's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church celebrates sanctuary restoration

David Goldman / AP

Rev. Cal Murrell reacts during a ceremony on April 15, 2011 to mark the restoration of the sanctuary of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached.

David Goldman / AP

Martin Luther King III, the son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speaks during the ceremony to mark the restoration of the sanctuary.

Ebenezer Baptist Church’s first pastor was born into slavery. The church was founded in Atlanta, Ga. in 1886 shortly after the Reconstruction Era in the South. The church moved to several locations over the years, but the current sanctuary was completed in 1922.

Ebenezer has had pastors who not only preach the Gospel, but take their ministries into the world and speak on behalf of the oppressed, disenfranchised and underprivileged. It was here, from the pulpit of the Heritage Sanctuary, that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached his ministry of nonviolence.

David Goldman / AP

Alveda King, left, and Naomi Ruth Barbara King, the niece and sister in law of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., listen as Dr. King's daughter Rev. Bernice King, near left, speaks during the ceremony.

David Goldman / AP

Organist David Oliver performs during the ceremony.

Read more about the church on its website.