Alberta "Mama" King (Williams)

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Alberta "Mama" King (Williams)'s Geni Profile

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Alberta Christine King (Williams)

Also Known As: "Bunch", "Mama"
Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States
Death: June 30, 1974 (69)
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States (Gun shot)
Place of Burial: Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Reverend Adam Daniel Williams and Jennie C. Williams (Parks)
Wife of Reverend "Daddy" King
Mother of <private> Farris (King); Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Reverend A. D. Williams King, Sr
Sister of Fannie Louise Williams and Parks Williams

Managed by: Julie Scott Russell
Last Updated:

About Alberta "Mama" King (Williams)

Alberta Christine Williams King (September 13, 1904 – June 30, 1974) was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s mother and the wife of Martin Luther King, Sr. She played a significant role in the affairs of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where her father, husband and son all served as pastor. She was shot and killed in the church six years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Alberta Christine Williams was born on September 13, 1904, the only daughter of Reverend Adam Daniel Williams, who was then the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and Jenny Celeste Parks.[1] Williams attended high school at Spelman Seminary and obtained a teaching certificate at the Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute (now Hampton University) in 1924.

Alberta Williams met Martin L. King (then known as Michael), whose sister Woodie was boarding with her parents, shortly before leaving for Hampton. After returning from college, she announced her engagement to King at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. She worked for a short period as a teacher before the marriage on Thanksgiving Day in 1926. As female teachers were then not allowed to work while they were married, she had to give up her job as a teacher.

After the wedding, the Kings moved in with her parents. Their first child, a daughter Willie Christine King, was born on September 11, 1927. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 while their third child Alfred Daniel Williams King was born on July 30, 1930 and named after his Grandfather. During this period, Michael King changed his name to Martin Luther King, Sr.

Alberta King worked hard to instill self-respect into her three children. In an essay written at Crozer Seminary, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote that his mother "was behind the scenes setting forth those motherly cares, the lack of which leaves a missing link in life." Martin Luther King Jr. was close to his mother throughout his life.

Alberta King's mother Jennie Williams died on May 18, 1941 of a heart attack. Martin Luther King, Jr. was so upset over his grandmother's death that he jumped from the second floor of the house. The Kings later moved to a larger yellow brick house three blocks away. Alberta King would also serve as the organizer and president of the Ebenezer Women's Committee between 1950 and 1962. By the end of this period, Martin Luther King Sr. and Jr. were joint pastors of the church.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by a concealed gunman on April 4, 1968 while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Dr. King was in Memphis to lead a march in support of the local sanitation workers union. He was pronounced dead one hour later. Mrs. King was a source of strength after her son's assassination. Her younger son, Alfred Daniel Williams King, drowned in his own pool after having become the assistant pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Alberta King was shot and killed on June 30, 1974 by 23 year-old Marcus Wayne Chenault as she sat at the organ of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Chenault was a deranged gunman from Ohio who stated that he shot King because "all Christians are my enemies."

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta_Williams_King


Mother of assassinated civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., school teacher, music director for many years at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and the church's organist from 1932-1972. Alberta Christine Williams King was the only child born to the Rev. Adam Daniel Williams and Jennie Williams in Atlanta, Georgia on September 13, 1904. Alberta received her education in Atlanta and attended high school at Spelman Seminary (now Spelman College). She then enrolled in Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute (now Hampton University), where she obtained her teaching certificate in March of 1924. Before attending Hampton, she met a young minister named Michael King (later Martin Luther King, Sr.) whom described Alberta as being "poised, gentle, an accomplished musician, scholarly." Shortly after completing school the couple announced their engagement at Ebenezer. Because the local school board at the time did not allow married women in the classroom, King taught only briefly before her marriage at Ebenezer on Thanksgiving Day 1926. After their wedding, the newlyweds moved into an upstairs bedroom of the Williams' home on Auburn Avenue, where Martin Luther King, Jr. and his two siblings, Christine and Alfred Daniel (A.D.), were born. After Rev. A.D. Williams sudden death in the spring of 1931, King, Sr. who had been assistant pastor succeeded his father-in-law as Ebenezer's pastor and changed his name to Martin Luther King. As a pastors wife Alberta (called "Bunch" by her husband) followed in her mother's footsteps as a powerful presence in Ebenezer's affairs. Along with being longtime church organist, she founded and trained the Ebenezer choir and served as organizer and president of the Ebenezer Woman's Council fro! m 1950 to 1962. As a mother, Alberta worked diligently to instill a sense of self-respect within her three children. Martin Luther King, Jr. acknowledged his mother's positive influence on his life and moral development, deeming her "the best mother in the world." In a piece he wrote as a student at Crozier Seminary, he described his mother as being "behind the scene setting forth those motherly cares, the lack of which leaves a missiing link in life." Alberta remained close to King, Jr. throughout her life. Although her soft-spoken nature compelled her to avoid the publicity that accompanied her son's international renown, she remained a constant source of strength to the King family, especially after King, Jr. was assassinated. On June 30, 1974, as Alberta played "The Lord's Prayer" during Sunday services at Ebenezer, she was shot along with a deacon of the church by a mentally deranged Marcus Chenault, a twenty-one-year old man from Ohio who claimed that "all Christians are my enemies." Alberta Williams King died later that day at the age of 69. Forty-seven years of sharing, loving, discovering, burying, ended and the family again endured the ordeal of saying goodbye to one whom they had loved dearly. Her death was a shock to the congregation, Atlanta, and others across the nation. Years later Ebenezer dedicated it's new pipe organ in their new sanctuary across the street in honor for her passion for beautiful worship music. (bio by: [fg.cgi?page=mr&MRid=46552524" target="_blank Curtis Jackson)] Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Jun 04, 2000

Find A Grave Memorial# 9796

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Alberta "Mama" King (Williams)'s Timeline

1904
September 13, 1904
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States
1929
January 15, 1929
Age 24
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States
1930
July 30, 1930
Age 25
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States
1974
June 30, 1974
Age 69
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States
1974
Age 69
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States