Christine King Farris is laid out in the rotunda of the Georgia Capitol

Ceremonies for Dr. Christine King Farris

The family of dr. Christine King Farris announced a three-day tribute and celebration of life. Farris was the last surviving sibling of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She died last Thursday at the age of 95.

dr Christine King Farris, civil rights activist and eldest sister of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is laid out in the rotunda of the Georgia Capitol on Friday.

Farris will be laid out in state from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a memorial service scheduled for 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Washington Street Rotunda.

Farris is the fourth black American to receive this honor. Her sister-in-law Coretta Scott King was first, followed by the late Congressman John Lewis and Atlanta City Councilman CT Vivian.

dr Farris died on June 29 at the age of 95. Born in 1927, she was the first child of the Rev. Martin Luther King S. and Alberta Christine Williams King.

Her formative years were largely shaped on Auburn Avenue, the home where her younger brother, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and ministered at her spiritual home, the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where her grandfather, father, and brothers lived. She was the senior member of the church, where she served as trustee, soloist, and director.

Christine King Farris remembered

dr Martin Luther King’s last living sibling, the family matriarch, has died. Christine King Farris was a familiar face at the annual MLK memorial service. She always stood out with her royal hats.


In 2003, Farris published a children’s book about Dr. King’s childhood and siblings’ upbringing in the 1920s entitled My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” She followed that up with an autobiography in 2009 called Though It All: Reflection on My Life, My Family, and My Faith.

Just as she would watch over her younger brothers decades later when they were still children, Farris helped ensure King’s legacy lived on after his assassination in 1968.

A major civil rights activist herself, Farris co-founded the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in northwest Atlanta in June 1968 with Coretta Scott King, King’s widow.

WASHINGTON, DC AUGUST 28, 2013: Christine King Farris, sister of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., arrives for an interfaith service at Shiloh Baptist Church to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. (Photo by Astrid Riecke

A devoted wife, mother and grandmother, Farris was married to Isaac Newton Farris Sr. for 57 years before his death. The couple had two children, Isaac Farris Jr. and Dr. Angela Farris Watkins.

Earlier this week, Spelman College held a service in the Sisters’ Chapel at her alma mater where she honored her legacy.

Over the weekend, the Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue NE will be hosting an event focusing on the Farris faith. She will be in state from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The musical homage “Make A Joyful Noise” begins at 6 p.m.

The closing ceremony, which will focus on her life and legacy, will also be held at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on Sunday. She will be laid out from 3pm to 4.30pm and there will be a celebration of life at 5pm