Martin Luther King’s daughter leaves megachurch to start own ministry
The daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. announced recently that she is leaving a megachurch that she has been with for eight years to pursue her own ministry.
Bernice King, the youngest daughter of the late civil rights leader, said in a radio program in Praise 102.5 that she will leave New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, headed by the controversial Bishop Eddie Long, to begin a ministry of her own.
King, who is an ordained minister, did not give details of her plans, but said, “I’m not calling it a church right now,” the AP reported.
Last year Long was sued by four young men who accused him of coercing them into engaging in sex acts with him. However, last week the lawyer for the men said the matter had been “resolved” out of court, Reuters said.
When asked about the timing of King’s announcement she said, “I’ve always followed what I believed to be the voice of God and I’ve sought to be obedient to that voice. I know that I have a pastoral calling on my life and I have to accept it. I’m in the process of pursuing that,” The Christian Post reported.
King said on the radio program, “I did what I felt what was appropriate in leadership, which was sit down and talk with him and gave him the timetable of when I would leaving. I didn’t just leave. That was the decision the Holy Spirit placed in my heart, which was Sunday, May 29. I have never wavered from that,” according to The Christian Post.
King also said that she had spoken to Long about her choice to leave so that she could start her own ministry, which she felt a strong leaning to do especially after her mother died in 2006, according to Reuters.
In a statement, Long said that he had been “in discussion and prayer” with King for some time, and that she wished to pursue the legacy of her parents, according to the AP.
Long said in his statement, “I am in full support of her decision to leave New Birth in pursuit of this worthy endeavor. Reverend Bernice King has made tremendous and profound contributions to New Birth as an elder and faithful servant. We ask that you join us in extending unequivocal support and love for Reverend King as she embarks on this new calling,” the AP reported.
King said that she is grateful to Long and to New Birth for having helped her weather many difficult events in her life, in particular the deaths of her mother, Coretta Scott King, and her sister.
King said on the radio program, “I want to thank him and all the New Birth family for all their love and support for all the time I was at New Birth and for all of their prayers,” The Christian Post reported.