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ATLANTA, Ga. – Sunday marked 53 years since a fatal shot rang out in Memphis, killing Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In an Easter morning service at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, the faithful gathered to celebrate and recall the life of its former pastor, the Reverend King.

An assassin’s bullet killed the 39-year-old Civil Rights leader in 1968 on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. King was in the city helping striking sanitation workers rally for better wages and working conditions. 

”So although he transitioned on this day 53 years ago, he had the courage to face death, because he understood as we do that death does not have the last word. Sickness does not have the last word. Oppression does not have the last word. Racism and bigotry will never have the last word.” said Georgia Senator and Senior Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church Raphael Warnock.

The day before his assassination King had given his final sermon, saying he has “been to the mountain top, and seen the promised land.”