Remarks to APN
Dr. Mrs. Naomi Ruth Barber King
July 27, 2017
Good afternoon. Please accept these warm greetings with gratitude to the African Pastors Premier Educational Network. On behalf of Dr. Babs Onabanjo, the friends and supporters of the A. D. King Foundation, and myself, we accept this great honor today, for the cause of Jesus Christ and the righteous justice of civil rights for all of the humanity. Please know that if my dear husband, Rev. A. D. King was here today, he would encourage you to continue your noble work of training Christian leaders here in the 21st Century.
As the widow of Rev. A. D. Williams King, a man of God, civil rights leader, husband and father of our five children, grandfather of our eleven grandchildren, and great-grandfather of our fifteen great-grandchildren, I greet you in the name of Jesus. The Bible teaches us that children are a gift from God. Family and children are one of God's greatest blessings to us.
Over the years, I have been invited to speak not only for Women's Day at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Newnan, GA; First Baptist Church in Birmingham; and Zion Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. These are the Christian churches including Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia where my husband was Senior Pastor during his lifetime. Furthermore, I was also invited to speak and sing at events in support of the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement.
Now in the 21st century, I am blessed by God to proclaim his goodness all over the world. As co-founder of the A. D. King Foundation, where we promote youth empowerment, non-violent social change strategies as a way of life and entrepreneurship as the engine of economic growth, we also uphold godly teachings and work to mentor children, youths and young adults as they grow up to be Christ like citizens, I still travel all over the world with the message of the love of God and the blessings of Jesus Christ.
In the 20th century, we had to face segregation and Jim Crow laws. We had to fight for the right to vote. My husband Rev. Alfred Daniel Williams King and I were a part of the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was A. D.'s brother and my beloved brother-in-law. They were brothers in the struggle. I write about these years in my book; AD AND ML KING: TWO BROTHERS WHO DARED TO DREAM.
If they were here today, AD and ML would encourage us to celebrate the blessings of the Lord. They would encourage us to pray that everyone would repent of our sins, and turn our hearts back to God.
Racism has been a terrible scourge on our land, and there are many other evils that separate us from God. Yet repentance, forgiveness, faith, and God's love can break through every evil; and forever break through the falsehood that we are different races.
During their lifetimes, A. D., M. L., and Daddy King taught that Acts 17:26 was true. God made all humans of one blood to be brothers and sisters. Indeed, M. L. was right when he said that we must "learn to live together as brothers, and I add as sisters, or perish as fools." Love can unite us. When we faced guns, bombs, fire hoses, and even death in the 20th Century, we never lost our faith in God and His love.
Even when my mother-in-law Mrs. Alberta King was shot and killed while playing the organ on Sunday Morning in church, we had to love and forgive. Daddy King went to jail to pray for the young African American gunman who killed his wife. He forgave him. My husband was murdered for his role in the Civil Rights Movement, make no mistakes about his mysterious so called drowning in his own swimming pool without water in his lungs and rings around his neck. God have mercy!
Can we have a moment of silence?
May the souls of the departed, our martyrs rest in perfect peace.
This is why we must remember that evil knows no color. As an example, the Caucasian man who killed the nine African Americans in a Bible study was not so different from the African American man who shot Mama King. They were driven to do evil deeds; not Black deeds or White deeds; evil deeds.
Today as I take my seat, I know that we still have a long way to go in America. Yet, we hold high honor and regards to you our African leaders. Together, we work for Christ for a better world.
I accept this award on behalf my entire family who have sacrificed so much in the struggle for justice, freedom and the pursuit of the American dream.
I accept this award on behalf those who are still struggling for freedom all over the world using the power and principles of non-violent social change, especially in Africa, such as the case in the Southern Cameroon and the agitation for restructuring in Nigeria. We must continue to speak truth to power!
Finally, I want to encourage you to turn to Jesus, with faith and love in your hearts. That way, you can look for that day when we can all say, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last. Again, thank you for the honor you have bestowed today.