• Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and  the Civil Rights Movement

    Martin Luther King Jr

    National Historic Site Georgia

Frequently Asked Questions about the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church

Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church - Heritage Sanctuary

Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church - Heritage Sanctuary

1. How old was Martin when he became a minister?

Martin received his License to Preach at the age of 17 and was ordained at 19.

2. What is a License to Preach?

In many Baptist churches the License to Preach is given to a person who shows aptitude for preaching despite age or education. Ordination is given after a period of study and includes the right to give sacraments, such as marriage and communion, as well as preach.

3. Did Coretta King attend church services at Ebenezer Baptist Church?

Mrs. King were members of Ebenezer and did attend services there.

4. Who is the pastor of Ebenezer now and is he a member of the King family?

The current pastor of Ebenezer is Rev. Raphael G. Warnock. Rev. Warnock is not a member of the King family.

5. What is the Heritage sanctuary?

The Heritage Sanctuary is the historic Ebenezer church where Dr. King and his father and grandfather preached.

6. What is the new church building called?

The new Ebenezer church is the Horizon Sanctuary. It was completed and dedicated in 1999.

7. Is the church open for tours?

Yes. Ebenezer Heritage Sanctuary is open for tours Monday through Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sundays 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. It is open until 6:00 pm summer hours. The Horizon Sanctuary is not open for tours. Visitors are welcome to attend Sunday services. Please contact Ebenezer for times.

8. Which organ was Mama King playing when she was killed?

Mama King was playing an organ to the right of the pulpit as you look at the pulpit from the back of Ebenezer. The organ in that spot now is not the original.

9. When was Mama King shot and why?

Mama King was playing the organ just before a service in 1974 when a young Black man named Marcus Wayne Chennault stood up in the congregation and opened fire. He killed Mama King and a Deacon and wounded two other Deacons. He was sentenced to life in prison and died in the 1980s. No reason was ever given for why he killed Mrs. King.

Did You Know?

Birth Home Block

The King Center owns the Birth Home and the National Park Service maintains it. The King Family moved out of the Birth Home in 1941 and the house was then converted into a two-family dwelling. The Rev. A.D. Williams King, Dr. King's brother, lived on the second floor in the 1950's and early 1960's.