The King Center to remember Martin Luther King Jr.'s mother 50 years after church shooting

MAR 12 1971, MAR 15 1971; Mrs. Martin Luther King Sr., Center, joins Hands with Co-chairman of Denver Event; Mrs. Ann Greene, left, and Mrs. Drusilla Mounger sang with her during Womans Day services in Baptist Church.; (Photo By Barry Staver/The Denv

Fifty years ago, a gunman entered the sanctuary of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and murdered Alberta Williams King, the mother of Martin Luther King Jr., and a deacon during Sunday morning worship. Fifty years later, the congregation of Ebenezer has decided to move forward with love, remembering those lives lost and celebrating the church's continued legacy.

The event is called "Faith Over Fear, Love Over Hate: 50th Anniversary of the Tragic Shooting in Ebenezer Baptist Church," and will be held at 4 p.m. on June 30.

It will also be live-streamed for those who cannot be there in person.

Faith Over Fear, Love Over Hate: 50th Anniversary of the Tragic Shooting in Ebenezer Baptist Church flyer (Credit: The King Center)

Special Guests

Several special guests have been invited to participate in the ceremony, including the current senior pastor and Georgia senator, Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, CEO of Hope Hustler Leonard Dungee, members of the King family and other survivors of that faithful day.

There will also be a performance from the Christine King Farris Memorial Choir, which will include former members of the MLKing Sr. Choir.

Ebenezer Baptist Church 1974 shooting

On June 30, 1974, a gunman entered Ebenezer Baptist Church during Sunday service and asked to sit near the King family.

While the congregation recited the Lord's Prayer, he opened fire, killing First Lady Alberta Williams King and Deacon Edward A. Boykin.

Jimmie Mitchell, a member of the church, was also shot, but she survived.

Despite Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. losing his wife that day, it's said that he went on to deliver a powerful sermon about love. He reportedly urged the congregation to respond with faith and forgiveness and to "thank God for what we have left."

Martin Luther King, Jr., with Wife Coretta and Family, Accepting Nobel Peace Prize, 1964. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

"Grandaddy’s message of love in the face of that tragedy continues to inspire us today," said his granddaughter, Dr. Angela Farris Watkins. "We honor his legacy as well as the legacy of our grandmother, Mrs. Alberta Williams King, and of Deacon Edward A. Boykin, by reaffirming our commitment to building a world where all people can live together in peace."