|Ebenezer Baptist Church|
|Denomination||Progressive National Baptist Convention, American Baptist Churches USA|
|Senior pastor(s)||The Honorable Reverend Doctor Raphael Gamaliel Warnock|
Ebenezer Baptist Church is a Baptist church located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, affiliated with the Progressive National Baptist Convention and American Baptist Churches USA. It was the church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was co-pastor from 1960 until his assassination in 1968, the location of the funerals of both Dr. King and congressman John Lewis, and the church for which United States Senator Raphael Warnock has been pastor since 2005. It is located in the historic area now designated as the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park.
The church was founded in 1886 by Pastor John A. Parker and eight people. The church's name derives from the Books of Samuel, where the Samuel names a place "Ebenezer", meaning "stone of help", to commemorate God helping the Israelites defeat the Philistines.
Adam Daniel Williams (maternal grandfather of Martin Luther King Jr.) became pastor in 1894, and the church had only 13 members. It grew to 400 members by 1903 and in 1913, the church had 750 people. In 1922, the building was dedicated. In 1927, Martin Luther King Sr. became assistant pastor, with his father-in-law. He later became the main pastor when Rev. Williams died in 1931. In 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. became co-pastor of the church with his father until his assassination in 1968.
Since 2005, U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock has been the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church; he is the fifth person to serve as Ebenezer's senior pastor since its founding. On January 30, 2020, Warnock announced his campaign for Kelly Loeffler's Senate seat during the 2020 special election. In a special runoff election on January 5th, 2021, Reverend Warnock defeated Loeffler receiving 51% of the popular vote. With this victory, Warnock made history by becoming the first Black senator from the state of Georgia.
The funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. was held at the church on April 9, 1968. The funeral of Rayshard Brooks was held on June 23, 2020 at the church. The funeral of John Lewis was held on July 30, 2020 at the church.
The pastors of Ebenezer Baptist Church since its foundation have been as follows:
- 1886-1894: The Reverend John A. Parker
- 1894-1931: The Reverend Adam Daniel Williams
- 1931-1975: The Reverend Martin Luther King Sr.; with three co-pastors
- 1975-2005: Doctor Joseph L. Roberts, Jr.
- 2005-present: The Honorable Reverend Doctor Raphael Warnock, United States Senator
- Finkelman, Paul; Wintz, Cary D. (2009). Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present: From the Age of Segregation to the Twenty-first Century Five-volume Set, Oxford University Press, USA. p. 119.
- Evans, Jason Oliver (January 15, 2021). "How the Ebenezer Baptist Church has been a seat of Black power for generations in Atlanta". The Conversation U.S. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
- Martin Luther King, Clayborne Carson, Ralph E. Luker, Peter Holloran, Penny A. Russell, The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Volume I: Called to Serve, January 1929-June 1951, University of California Press, USA. p. 13.
- Finkelman, Paul (1992). Encyclopedia of African American History: 5-Volume Set, Oxford University Press USA, USA, 2009, p. 119.
- Finkelman, Paul (2006). The Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties: A - F, Index, Taylor & Francis, USA p. 889.
- Sack, Kevin. "A New Place to Nourish One Dreamer's Legacy", nytimes.com, USA, March 8, 1999.
- Greg Bluestein. "Exclusive: Pastor of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church considers U.S. Senate run". ajc.
- Fausset, Richard (January 30, 2020). "Citing 'Soul of Our Democracy,' Pastor of Dr. King's Church Enters Senate Race". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
- Fausset, Richard; Martin, Jonathan; Saul, Stephanie (January 6, 2021). "Democrats Win Both Georgia Races to Gain Control of Senate". NY Times. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
- Peoples, Steve; Barrow, Bill; Bynum, Russ (January 6, 2021). "Georgia election updates: Raphael Warnock makes history with win as Democrats near control of Senate; 2nd runoff race too early to call". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
- Suggs, Ernie (July 29, 2020). "Ebenezer Baptist Church fitting site for John Lewis' funeral". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
- Our History, Ebenezer Baptist Church