Charleston, S.C. brings back Ebenezer shooting, Atlanta,Ga.

I began receiving telephone calls from Radio/TV stations all over America, within hours of the shootings at the Emanuel, A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S. C.  Several stations recalled that I was At Ebenezer, A.M. E. Church in Atlanta, Ga., when “Mama” King was murdered, sitting at her organ waiting on Sunday services to begin.  I was to be honored that Sunday, June 30, 1974,  by Rev. Martin Luther “Daddy” King for outstanding service, kindness and generosity to the church. I was only three blocks away when the shootings occurred, and was the first “white face,” to arrive at the scene.  This horrible event was documented in my non-fiction book, “Daddy King and Me.”  (P.70) The gunman, Marcus Wayne Chenault, was a black man, avowed Muslim, who shot and killed Mrs. Alberta King, and Deacon Edward Boykin, screaming as he fired his pistols, “I’m tired of all this! I’m taking over!”  Sounds a little like the alleged shooter in Emanuel.

Weeks after the funeral, Daddy King asked me to arrange a meeting with Chenault in Chatham County Jail.  I did and it was one of the most memorable events in my life. The killer had admitted his crimes with rare enthusiasm. He was proud of the fact, and stated his”… mission was to kill Daddy King, and when he was not in the sanctuary, kill whoever he could.”  Dad explained to me that his purpose was to ask the man, “Why did you do this?” I made the arrangements with the high Sheriff, only after I agreed that there would be no television cameras, reporters, secretaries, recording devices.  Dad approached the young man, who was seated behind bars in a cell usually reserved for Attorney-Client conferences, asked him, “Do you know who I am? Continued-


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