Rev Ralph David Abernathy Sr.

Rev Ralph David Abernathy Sr.

Linden, Marengo County, Alabama, USA
Death 17 Apr 1990 (aged 64)
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA
Burial Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA
Plot in the wall of the chapel which is located in the office building (not the main Mausoleum)
Memorial ID 8533 · View Source
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Social Reformer. He was an early civil rights organizer and minister who is best known as the leading confidante and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Born in Linden, Alabama, he was the son of a successful farmer. He became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama in 1951, and became associated with Dr. King a few years later. Resigning as pastor of his church, he and his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he became pastor of West Hunter Street Baptist Church from 1961 until his death. He and King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1957. He was Dr. King's chosen successor to head SCLC (1968 to 1977) following King's assassination in 1968 (he delivered the eulogy for his close friend). In May of that same year he led the "Poor People's March" on Washington, D.C. Although as a competent leader of SCLC, the organization never regained the influence it had under King. In 1977 he resigned as head of SCLC to run unsuccessfully, for Georgia Congressman Andrew Young's congressional seat. Turning away from the civil rights movement, he devoted his attention to his church in Atlanta and the issues of world peace. He published his controversial autobiography "And the Wall Came Tumbling Down" in 1989.

Bio by: Curtis Jackson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 23 Feb 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8533
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Ralph David Abernathy Sr. (11 Mar 1926–17 Apr 1990), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8533, citing Lincoln Cemetery, Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .