During the recent Martin Luther King Jr. Beloved Community Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Bernice King, CEO of the King Center and daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, noted Merrell’s absence and held a moment of silence.
“Over the past 40-plus years,” King said, choking up, “we were graced with the presence of a very special man and voice in this service. The Happy Preacher. … This commemorative will never, ever, ever be the same without The Happy Preacher,” she said.