Sunday, March 16, 2008
So on Sunday, we went attended a service at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. used to preach - and it was AMAZING. The sermon was fantastic, the people were friendly and welcoming, and as a whole, the experiencing was enlightening and eye-opening. Newly renovated, the church was gorgeous, and we were able to get a group picture with Reverend Warnock. Afterwards, the group got back on the bus and drove for a couple hours, arriving in Birmingham in the early afternoon. After a quick stop to eat and a search for postcards in K-Mart, we traveled to the Civil Rights Institute where we watched a short video on the history of Birmingham and were then left to roam the museum on our own. The Institute included the bus the freedom riders traveled on, the jail cell door that Martin Luther King Jr. sat behind while writing his "Letter to the Birmingham Jail", and Kelly Ingram Park, where there were numerous monuments and statues dedicated to memorializing the children killed while protesting segregation. Trees could be seen in the park that were permanently damaged by the water hoses that were let loose on the people in the park. The 16th Street Baptist Church could also be seen across the street, and although it was closed for the day, we were able to walk the steps and view the stained glass windows. All in all, it was quite a fulfilling day and we all took a lot from the experience! This trip is becoming all that I hoped it would be.