Ebenezer Baptist Church is one of Atlanta’s most historic sites. This red brick Gothic structure is the historic home to an African-American congregation which began in the 1880s. The church was built between 1914 and 1922 and has been a major Atlanta gathering place for 100 years now.
Perhaps more people of national and international significance have been inside its gracious precincts than any other building in the city. It is linked inextricably with Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement. King was co-pastor at Ebenezer during the 1960s, and the church was the site of his funeral.
Although a new sanctuary for the congregation was built across the street, the original Ebenezer remains a lovingly preserved monument. It was recently restored to its 1960s appearance and is open to the public under the auspices of the National Park Service. It makes a great place to visit during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
The sanctuary is wonderfully serene and gives a nice respite for those going to the many other sites in the King Historic District. The huge stained glass windows are beautiful and make a contempla-tive place to sit and gather your thoughts. The dark wood pews and paneling gleam like new and there are period pressed tin plates covering the ceiling.
The church is located at 407 Auburn Ave. and is open to the public year round (9 a.m. -5 p.m.) ex-cept for major holidays. Admission is free and there is free parking at the King District lot off John Wesley Dobbs Ave. nearby. There is a small gift shop next door. For more information, see www.historicebenezer.org.