Published July 1, 2023 | En Español
ATLANTA–Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., expressed condolences upon hearing of the death of Dr. Christine King Farris, the last surviving sibling of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
“It was with sadness that I learned of the death of Dr. Christine King Farris on June 29, 2023. As the last surviving sibling of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Christine worked tirelessly in the civil rights movement through activism and education. Among her many accomplishments was the development of a Nonviolence Education curriculum founded on the Gospel values and principles characteristic of her late brother.
She was a much loved tenured professor at Spelman College, as well as an adjunct professor at Morehouse College and Atlanta University. In her autobiography, ‘Through It All: Reflection on My Life, My Family, and My Faith,’ Christine described her brother, Dr. King, as: ‘no saint, ordained as such at birth. Instead, he was an average and ordinary man, called by a God, in whom he had deep and abiding faith, to perform extraordinary deeds.’
That same faith and extraordinary deeds were the cornerstone of Christine’s life. She knew much suffering in her life and yet, she never allowed it to make her angry or bitter. Christine’s faith in Jesus Christ reminded her that her Lord and Savior was also a victim of injustice and intolerance.
The City of Atlanta, the State of Georgia and our entire nation has lost a truly remarkable woman of faith and a champion of the Gospel. The words of her dear brother apply equally to her: ‘I choose to identify with the underprivileged, I choose to give my life for the hungry, I choose to give my life for those who have been left out of the sunlight of opportunity…this is the way I’m going. If it means suffering, I’m going that way. If it means dying for them, I’m going that way, because I heard a voice saying do something for others.’
On behalf of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to the King and Farris families, to Ebenezer Baptist Church and to the King Center, on the death of Dr. Christine King Farris.
May she rest in peace and may her memory be eternal.”