Dr. Christine King Farris will be honored with several celebrations of life this weekend. Today, Friday, July 14 Dr. Farris will lie in state at the Georgia State Capitol Rotunda from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A memorial service is scheduled from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
The elder sibling of Dr. Martin Luther King is only the furth Black Georgian to lie in state at the Georgia State Capitol Rotunda. Her sister and law and wife of Dr. King Coretta Scott King, beloved congressman John Lewis and celebrated activist CT Vivian are the the only other Black Americans to have received the honor.
The King and Farris family members, state officials, and the Governor are expected to attend. Dr. Farris’ body will be escorted into the building by the Georgia State Patrol Honor Guard.
On Saturday, the celebration will continue with the “Make A Joyful Noise” musical tribute at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church – Heritage Sanctuary.
On Sunday, Dr. Farris’ Celebration of Life will take place at Ebenezer Baptist Church – Horizon Sanctuary. Following the ceremony, Dr. Farris will be placed on The John Lewis Carriage where she, her family, friends, and supporters will march past The King Center to the King Family Birth Home where a brief ceremony and dove release will finalize the day’s events.
Born on Sept. 11, 1927, Farris was the oldest sibling of Martin Luther King Jr. She served as an educator and spent nearly six decades at Spelman College.
In a statement, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens gave his condolences to the King family and shed light on Farris’ legacy.
“Mrs. Farris was a force in her own right,” Dickens said. “A champion of literacy and education, she taught at her alma mater, Spelman College, for nearly 50 years. As the last of the King siblings, she spent much of her life advocating for equality. She once said that her brother Martin simply gave us the blueprint, but it was our duty ‘to carry it out.’
“Mrs. Farris was a beloved mother, grandmother, and aunt. On behalf of the entire city of Atlanta, I send our deepest condolences to her children, Isaac Farris, Jr. and Dr. Angela Farris Watkins. Her niece and nephews, Bernice, Martin and Dexter are also in our prayers.
“We mourn with you today and pray that God’s Grace keeps you. Rest in Heaven, Mrs. Farris.”
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