In 1895 a two-story frame Queen Anne style house was built for a white family at 501 Auburn Avenue. The home was purchased in 1909 by Rev. Adam Daniel Williams, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, for $3,500. Rev. Williams moved into the house with his wife Jennie Celeste and their 6 year old daughter Alberta Christine, their only child of three to survive infancy.
On November 25, 1926 Christine married a minister by the name of Michael Luther King at her father's church. Instead of Christine moving in with her new husband he moved in with her and her parents in the family home. Over time the Kings would have three children born in the home, Willie Christine, Michael Jr. (later known as Martin Luther King, Jr.), and Alfred Daniel. On March 21, 1931 Rev. Williams dies in the home of a heart attack. After Mrs. Willies dies of a heart attack the Kings move to a new home at 193 Boulevard.
The home stayed in the family and became rental property for the family. After Dr. King's assassination on April 4, 1968 plans were begun to restore the house as a historic museum. Today visiting the home where Dr. King was born and lived the first twelve years of his life is often the highlight of ones visit to the park. The popular free ranger-led Birth Home Tours of the interior of the home are limited to 15 people and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the tour.
Effective November 27, 2023 tours of the Birth Home will be suspended until November 2025 to allow for an extensive rehabilitation project.
Last updated: January 31, 2024