Ebenezer Celebrates 125 Years
(AJC) — Barbara Smith has attended Ebenezer Baptist Church for the past 52 years. Martin Luther KingJr. baptized her when she was nine, an event she recalls with pride. She remembers sermons by his father, Martin Luther King Sr., and the tragic passing of King Jr. “After church my father would take us out for ice cream, if we were quiet during the sermon,” she said. On Sunday, Smith and hundreds of others gathered to worship as the congregation’s members have done more than 6,500 times since the church’s founding in 1886, yet this Sunday also was a celebration of the church’s 125th anniversary. Ebenezer Senior Pastor Raphael G. Warnock encouraged his parishioners to enjoy the moment, but also to look to the future. “Part of the challenge of leading a church like Ebenezer, that has a great history, is reminding people that our history should serve as a springboard for more activism,” Warnock said after the sermon.