Westminster Abbey service to mark 40 years since death of Martin Luther King

A Service of Hope to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr, the Baptist minister and civil rights activist who received a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination in the United States of America will be held at Westminster Abbey on Friday 4 April.

Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated on 4 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Today he is one of the most revered figures in American history. His statue above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey is one of ten statues of 20th century martyrs, which were unveiled on 9 July 1998.

The preacher will be Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance, whilst Ruach Ministries and Tribe of Judah will also be participating in the service.

In attendance will be Dr Elbert Ransom Jr, contemporary and former aide to Martin Luther King Jr, David Lammy, MP for Tottenham and Minister for Skills, and the American Ambassador, Robert H Tuttle.

The Very Rev Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster said: "Dr Martin Luther King is commemorated at Westminster Abbey as one of the most significant of many martyrs in the 20th century.

"On 4th April, the Abbey will welcome a wide diversity of participants who will share dreams and plan actions to ensure that this century is less steeped in blood than the last. We shall end the day by offering our dreams and commitments to God for his blessing."

Mr Edwards said: "Forty years since his assassination, King's dream is both a partial reality and a continued motivation for peace and community cohesion.

"His life's work changed history and persuades us to persevere in our own context. I am so pleased to be a part of this celebratory service in honour of such an inspirational man."

The service is held in partnership with the United States Embassy, The Peace Alliance and Churches Together in England.

All are welcome to attend the Service of Hope at Westminster Abbey, Friday 4 April 5.00pm