Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Archbishop Hartmayer offers prayers for King family

Published January 22, 2024  | En Español

ATLANTA–Upon learning of the death of Dexter King, the youngest son of Martin Luther King Jr., Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer extended his condolences to the King family. The archbishop shared his letter to Dr. Bernice King written Jan. 22:

“Dear Bernice:

I greet you with the words of St. Francis of Assisi, Peace and All Good!

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of your brother Dexter Scott King. On behalf of my Auxiliary Bishops, the clergy, consecrated religious and lay faithful of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, I wish to express my sincere sympathy and deepest condolences to his beloved wife Leah, to you, Bernice and your brother Martin Luther King, III, as well as to his niece, Yolanda Renee and all of the King family.

I was especially moved by Leah’s own words in speaking about Dexter’s valiant battle with cancer: “He gave it everything and battled this terrible disease until the end.  As with all the challenges in his life, he faced this hurdle with bravery and might.” Like your father, mother, sister Yolanda, we can say in the words of St. Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Dexter spent his life protecting the legacy of his martyred father.  How blessed we are that he shared his memories and reflections about his upbringing and his father’s legacy, in his book, Growing Up King: An Intimate Memoir. The book is a challenge to us all to work together for peace and justice, and for an end to all forms of discrimination.

Please be assured of my prayers as you mourn the death and celebrate the life of your beloved brother. May the Father of Mercies and the God of Consolation receive him into his loving embrace.

May Dexter rest in peace and may his memory be eternal. Be assured of my thoughts and prayers.

In closing, I remain,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

+ Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., Archbishop of Atlanta