Biden will travel to Atlanta for MLK service next Sunday at Ebenezer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

President Joe Biden will deliver remarks during next Sunday’s service at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church to celebrate the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

It will be Biden’s first trip to Georgia since January 2022 and an opportunity for him to appear alongside U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, who was recently sworn in for his first full six-year term.

Warnock is Ebenezer’s head pastor. King served as the church’s co-pastor alongside his father from 1960 until he was assassinated in 1968.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks on voting rights at the Atlanta University Center during that 2022 visit.

Biden did not travel to the state during the midterm election season to campaign with Warnock the way he did for Senate candidates in other tight races. Warnock’s campaign was built in part around establishing his ability to work in bipartisan fashion and a willingness to push back on the Biden administration when he felt it necessary.

The late U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was a regular guest at the memorials Ebenezer held over the years in King’s honor. Warnock also invited Isakson to a Sunday service at Ebenezer in December 2019 as he prepared to retire from the Senate due to failing health.

Warnock introduced Isakson as a friend and “one of Georgia’s most beloved public servants,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported at the time.

In January 2021, Warnock, a Democrat, was elected to Republican Isakson’s old seat. Isakson died in December of that year.

Next Sunday’s service will be held on King’s actual birthday; if he were alive today he would be turning 94. Ebenezer is also co-hosting a Martin Luther King Jr. Shabbat with The Temple in Atlanta on Friday evening. Warnock is the featured speaker.

Next Monday, the federal holiday in King’s honor, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Beloved Community Service will be held at Ebenezer. Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, will deliver the keynote.