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July 2020
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Local pastor recalls growing up during civil rights movement; welcomes Dr. Alveda King


       Dr. Alveda King, who will speak in Pickens on February 26, is a Christian evangelist and civil rights activist and is also known for her contributions in film, music, politics, education and journalism. She is an actress, singer, songwriter, blogger, author, Fox News contributor, and a television and radio personality. As a former Georgia State legislator and mother and grandmother, she is also a guardian of the King Family Legacy. Alveda is the daughter of Rev. A. D. King and Mrs. Naomi King, the granddaughter of Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Mrs. Alberta Williams King, and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She currently serves as a Pastoral Associate and Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, the African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. She is also a voice for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, sharing her testimony of two abortions, God’s forgiveness and healing. 

       In anticipation of Dr. Alveda King speaking in Pickens County during a community prayer breakfast at Chattahoochee Technical College later this month, Mt. Zion Baptist Church Pastor Ben Mock remembers what it was like growing up during the Civil Rights Era in the Deep South. Here he discusses the importance of Dr. King speaking and praying with the Pickens community. See details about the breakfast at the end of this article, including RSVP information. 


The Kings and I 


By Ben Mock

Mt. Zion Baptist Church Pastor

Growing up as a white kid near Sandfly, Ga., a "colored" community on the south side of Savannah, I had a front row seat to the injustices of the Old South. I recall riding on the Nancy Hanks to Atlanta, watching the cotton fields go by and wondering if the passengers in the rear cars weren't as thirsty as I was. I could get a cold Coca Cola in the dining car, they could not. On a later trip

from Georgia's first gold-domed city to its gold-domed capital, I met Lester Maddox selling autographed axe handles outside of his souvenir shop in Underground Atlanta. My memories of my junior high years, as school busing was implemented, are quite disjointed. I have a vivid picture of my terrified geometry teacher locking the classroom door as a motorcycle cop chased a group of students down the hall, on his motorcycle. I couldn't understand why she wouldn't let my classmate and friend in, who was just as terrified as she was; but then, he was black. I watched in bewilderment as an angry soldier dad from Hunter fired his .45 in the air, as he searched for his child during one of the 180 bomb threats called in that year to what is today Myers Middle School. I went fishing a lot that year and hung out at Tybee - the South End, mind you, not the North End, where the black beach was located right next to the sewage outlet from the white population of the island. 

I am glad those days are gone. I am thankful that a young man raised himself up out of the squalor of Sandfly to now sit on the Supreme Court of these United States. I have lost touch, but I am proud of my classmates of color who went on to build long and illustrious careers in medicine, business and, well, success in life, far greater than my own. And I am glad that I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Alveda King during my visits to the Georgia capitol last year during the process of the LIFE Act becoming law, protecting all Georgians with a heartbeat from the horrors of abortion. Dr. King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a champion of the pro-life movement in our nation and the world. When President Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of 500,000 gathered in Washington for the March for Life recently, Miss Alveda was at his right hand. 

Just a few years my elder, Dr. King has her own memories of the Civil Rights Era: her home bombed as just a girl of 12; her pastor father arrested for simply sitting at a lunch counter, which emboldened her to later go to jail herself for a person's right to live where they wished. Her heart aches for her uncle gunned down in Memphis, and MLK Jr.'s own mother shot and killed as she played the organ at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1974. That latter tragedy occurred the summer I became a Christian. 

Alveda’s father, Rev. A.D. King taught her that we are one human race, one blood. She will share that message with the good folk of Pickens County at the Ministerial Association's Community Prayer Breakfast to be held Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Chattahoochee Tech in Jasper. She will bring words of hope and encouragement to our little community that is much in need of unity, healing, and a return to the Judeo-Christian values these troubled times call for. 

Please note that due to limited seating, if you wish to attend this free event, you need to RSVP to secure a spot. Just go to and sign up. Call 404-723-4814 or 678-982-4417 for more information.