Shutdown and disunity themes of MLK celebration in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — A commemorative service for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that was nearly imperiled by the federal government shutdown occurred Monday morning at a church called King’s “spiritual home.”

The annual service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta takes place amid a national park that was shuttered until Delta Air Lines gave the National Park Service a grant to reopen it.

The civil rights leader was co-pastor with his father at the church from 1960 until his assassination in 1968.

The church is part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park located in the “Sweet Auburn” district of downtown Atlanta.

The celebration took on special significance as Jan. 15 marked what would have been King’s 90th birthday.

Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative will be keynote speaker.

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