By Brian Kaylor for Word & Way, Jan. 6, 2021
“Let us march on ballot boxes, march on ballot boxes until race-baiters disappear from the political arena,” Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed on Mar. 25, 1965. “Let us march on ballot boxes until we send to our city councils, state legislatures, and the United States Congress, men who will not fear to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God. Let us march on ballot boxes until brotherhood becomes more than a meaningless word in an opening prayer, but the order of the day on every legislative agenda.”
On Jan. 6, 2021, a man who now pastors a church King co-pastored with his father, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, won election to become the first Black U.S. Senator from Georgia. Rev. Raphael Warnock, who will remain pastor at Ebenezer while in the Senate, won even after people attacked his sermons as unpatriotic and unchristian — much as critics of King did in the 1950s and 60s.
Ebenezer Baptist Church. A rich history since its founding in 1886 by formerly-enslaved persons. The final resting place of King Jr. The location of his funeral, as well as that of others like Rep. John Lewis. And now the church of a U.S. Senator.
“I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because truth crushed to earth will rise again,” King added in that 1965 speech. “How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever. How long? Not long, because you shall reap what you sow. … How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”