The mother of the late Rev Martin Luther King, the civil rights leader who was assassinated, was herself shot and killed as she played the organ for morning service in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in of Atlanta, Georgia.
Alberta Christine Williams was born on September 13, 1904, the only daughter of Jennie Celeste Parks and Reverend Adam McNeil Williams, who was then the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Williams attended high school at Spelman Seminary and obtained a teaching certificate at the Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute (now Hampton University) in 1924.
Alberta Williams met Martin L. King (then known as Michael), whose sister Woodie was boarding with her parents, shortly before leaving for Hampton. After returning from college, she announced her engagement to King at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. She worked for a short period as a teacher before their Thanksgiving Day 1926 wedding, then had to stop because female teachers were not allowed to work after they married.
Alberta King was shot and killed on June 30, 1974 by a 23-year-old black man named Marcus Wayne Chenault as she sat at the organ of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Chenault was a man from Ohio who stated that he shot King because “all Christians are my enemies.” Chenault claimed that he had decided that black ministers were a menace to black people, and that his original target had been Martin Luther King, Sr, but he had decided to shoot his wife instead because she was close to him.