Dr. Christine King Farris’ Life Celebrated on her 96th Heavenly Birthday on “9/11”

Dr. Christine King Farris and daughter Angela Farris Watkins with their Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority - Photographer: Renee Sudderth
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Dr. Christine King Farris began her life September 11, 1927, and she left this life June 29, 2023, at age 95 in Atlanta, Georgia. She passed 1 day before her mother, Mrs. Alberta King’s 59th Death Anniversary. She was the oldest sibling to Dr. Martin L. King Jr. and Dr. Alfred Daniel “A.D.” King. She was a true Civil Rights icon, an Atlanta Trailblazer, a visionary with a purpose, distinguish leader, a co-founder of the Martin L. King Center, an author of several books, a public speaker, and the longest serving professor at Spelman College for 56 years who taught until she was 87. She loved people and was always quick to say, “everyone is valuable”.  

Dr. Christine King Farris lived a full life holding many titles as a Civil Right Activist, Author, Professoretc – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

A very powerful, spiritual Homegoing service for Dr. Christine King Farris on July 16, 2023, which brought me many tears because of her and I see an era coming to an end – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth
Civil Rights Foot Soldier Nathan Knight (Red) guarding a true Civil Rights warrior, Dr. Christine King Farris as she passes her church, the historical Ebenezer Baptist Church for the last time – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

The traditional march led by Dr. Christine King Farris’ son, Isaac Farris Jr and her daughter Angela Farris Watkins – Isaac’s speech was so strong, powerful and truthful – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth
The King men, who all stood proud and tall – Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. (Coretta); Isaac Newton Farris Sr. (Christine); Rev. Alfred Daniel “A.D.”King (Naomi) and Rev. Martin L. King, Sr. (Alberta)

I had the privilege of meeting her and being in her presence several times and it was a true blessing. I was very impressed when I was informed, she had read several of my Splash Magazine articles I had written about her family. I attended her final tribute on Sunday July 16, 2023, at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Pastor/U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock presides and where her father and brother once presided. I walked away saying I will never ever be the same after attending this tribute to a powerful, beautiful, classy homegoing, fit for a Queen.

A true legend honored for several days

Dr Christine Farris received even more honors after she passed. She became the 4th Black to “Lie In State” at the Georgia State Capitol Rotunda.  The first one was her sister-in-law Coretta Scott King, Dr. Rev. C.T. Vivian, a Civil Rights Leader and Congressman/Civil Rights Leader John Lewis. I had the privilege of seeing two of them lie in state; Mrs. King and John Lewis and attended 3 of their funerals. I had to give my tribute to these great leaders who help change the world when life was a harder struggle for our black race.

Mrs. Farris had seen so much in her 95 years of living which included many tragic moments. She lived through both her brothers’ murders, her mother being shot to death while playing the church organ, loosing her husband, Mr. Newton Farris Sr and she battled cancer twice, etc. She never gave up nor gave in.  She kept pressing forward like her brothers tried to do until their lives were cut short at age 39 and 38 resulting in their deaths being 15 months apart.

One of the saddest days in history with the Kings’ parents grieving – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Mrs. Farris sister-in-law, (widow of A.D. King), Mrs. Naomi Ruth Barber King remains to represent the King Family at her beautiful golden age of 91.

Dr. Babs Onabanjo, Dr. Christine King Farris, Mrs. Naomi Ruth Barber King and Renee Sudderth (Splash Magazine Photojournalist) who are carrying on the Rev. A.D. King Foundation Legacy while standing in the historical Ebenezer Baptist Church– Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

In this life you have to learn to appreciate and learn from those who are not afraid to stand tall and make a difference in this life.

Rev. Bernice King, daughter of Martin L. King Jr/Coretta Scott King and family finishing the candlelight ceremony for her aunt, Christine King Farris – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Nathan Knight, President Southern Christian Leadership Conference-Dekalb County, Georgia, American Civil Rights Foot Soldiers, Inc; Renee Sudderth, Retired Air Force Veteran and Splash Magazine Photojournalist; Michael Julian Bond, Atlanta City Councilman; Gary Hunter, former President Obama Photographer and creator of The Shot News in Detroit- all who appears at many of the same historical events – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

On this September 11, 2023, I honor you, Dr. Christine King Farris by remembering what would have been your 96th Birthday and all that you did for everyone. May we all learn from you and take the baton and run with it.

Renee Sudderth holding Dr. Christine King Farris’ Program – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth
Dr. Christine King Farris last farewell to her childhood earthly home for her new “heavenly” home – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

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8 Comments

  1. NATHAN KNIGHT – September 18, 2023 – Via Email -Deeply 💗 appreciate you and your heart for journalism. The American Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Inc honor our generations of Leadership in the struggles of African Americans and Activists. Many who helped in leading us were lynched, beaten, stomped, molested, bombed, and denied basic rights guaranteed by the United States of America Constitution.
    Your articles shed light on the families of the most revered Freedom fighters in the Movement. The King, Williams and Farris were in the leadership group with pain and suffering from Racism. Deaths to multiple Family members who helped in the Struggles, didn’t keep Dr. Christine King Farris from teaching our children, sacredness and God love in the classroom. Her work ethic, dedication, values and loyalty 💕 emanating with a faithful commitment ” To face Adversity and Tower Over Mediocrity.
    It’s our responsibility and duty today to honor her with “Student Movement of America and American Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Inc, at her fare ❤️‍🩹..
    Rev. Nathan Knight
    President Dekalb SCLC

  2. NATHAN KNIGHT – Sept 13, 2023 – Via Facebook – Renee this layout for Dr Christina King Farris farewell at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta GA is precious 💞💞. It was great seeing you there and I’m glad that this moment is always remembered. Stay Strong and God Bless.

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