Bernice King, the youngest surviving child of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., addressed the congregation during the Aug. 27 Interfaith Service at the Basilica in Northeast.
Bernice King was only five years old when her father, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated. But when the 48-year-old Atlanta minister graced the pulpit of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Saturday during an interfaith prayer service in honor of her iconic father, she recalled him as "a servant of a high God, obedient."
According to a statement issued earlier by Harry Johnson, president and CEO of the Washington MLK Memorial Foundation, the prayer service was an opportunity for people of all denominations to come together and reflect on faith as a source of strength, while celebrating the civil rights leader's unshakable resolve bringing his dream of justice and equality for all mankind to fruition.
Also included on the program as speakers were Dr. King's confidants the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with him, and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young -- who like Lowery -- accompanied King on several marches in the South for equal rights.
Referencing Hurricane Irene, which caused the cancellation of two major marches that had also been planned for Aug. 27, Lowery commented that, "with all the things black folk have been through, ain't no little hurricane going to stop this."
Young noted that everywhere King went, he was met with a "mountain of despair that was thrust upon him by the evils" of the world. Young added that in keeping King's legacy intact, "you and I must become stones of hope in the midst."
The service culminated a week of events surrounding Sunday's postponed dedication of the new Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall. The dedication is now slated to take place in either September or October.
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