Honoring Our 'Greatest' Father

Image: Honoring Our 'Greatest' Father Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (left) is pictured with his brother, the Rev. Alfred Daniel King. (AP)

Friday, 14 Jun 2013 10:15 PM

By Alveda King

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Today, in the midst of immigration battles, tax battles, social and moral battles, I can only encourage you to remember our best and greatest father, God.

I honor God on Father’s Day because he is God and God alone. Through the years, God has given me some wonderful “father figures” to guide my understanding, and I am grateful.

When I was 16, my daddy, Rev. Alfred Daniel Williams King, Sr. gave me a sweet 16 party. He also gave me my very first and most beautiful set of pearl jewelry.

They were set as dangling earrings and a necklace. I was wearing the necklace in a photo taken over a quarter of a century ago.

Daddy was truly my hero. Was he perfect? No of course not.

He fought against temptations of the flesh like any man. Remember David was after God’s own heart, yet he killed Uriah the Hittite.

Noah drank too much wine. Moses was the most meek and humble man in history, yet he never quite mastered his temper. My father was such a man, a man after God’s own heart, a man of faith and bold enough to build in the face of mockery of the people.

Daddy once took his youth ministry to Pensacola, Florida for a summer youth retreat. I was so happy to be included. It was my first time to see and play in the ocean. Daddy was a championship swimmer in college, having awards aplenty.

When he married mama and the children were born, he insisted that we all learn to swim. I was more of a dog paddler than a real swimmer, but I could stay afloat and had no fear of water.

The sound and sight of God’s powerful waves crashing upon the shore was just awesome to me. I remember daddy’s rich baritone voice ringing with laughter as I bounded about in the water.

I even grew to be so bold as to dash out into a huge wave and get washed away from the shore. With daddy behind me and the looming ocean out beyond me, I remember yelling “Daddy” as the wave washed me away.

Instantly, at my cry for help, Daddy dove into the water and came cutting through the ripples to my side. I remember that daddy had taught us so many times that Jesus, the living son and word of God calmed the waves with his command: “Peace be still.”

I remembered that daddy taught us that Jesus walked on the water.

When I felt daddy’s strong arms around me, pulling me out of the now menacing waves, I likely wondered if Jesus would come walking right up beside us.

Daddy’s gift of pearls to me included the knowledge of the Pearl of Great Price, which is the Kingdom of Heaven presented to us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the greatest gift a father can give a child, the gift of natural life fortified with the Gospel of Life.

God gives us many blessings in life. Among the countless blessings experienced in my now 61 years of life on earth are the lessons learned from my four favorite mentors. Three of them are elders from my bloodline, and from them I learned to receive God’s miracles, to have a compassionate heart and that love never fails.

My father, Rev. Alfred Daniel Williams King, (A.D.) taught me to believe in and later to experience the miracles of God. When I was a little girl, I would sit in the pews of churches where daddy preached and listen to his sermons on the miracles of Jesus.

When daddy preached, I actually believed that Jesus walked on the water, turned the water to wine, rebuked the winds and the waves, multiplied the fish and the loaves and healed the sick and raised the dead.

When granddaddy (Dr. Martin Luther King, Senior) preached about how we have to have “faith, hope and love,” and the compassion of God, for the prisoners, for the sick, for the elderly, for the widows and for the children, my heart went out to “the least of these.”

When Uncle M. L. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) preached about the love of God, my heart learned to know God as my loving father. Most people know that Uncle M. L. was a famous civil rights leader, but my best memories of him are as a loving family man and preacher.

My daddy and uncle in the 1960s went to heaven when they were both killed in the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement. Granddaddy lived to see his “first three great-grandchildren,” my first three children born alive.

He went to heaven in the mid-1980s — just about two years after I was “born again” in 1983. Daddy never saw one of his grandchildren. I try and help them to know daddy through my memories.

I miss them all so very much. They were my family, my protectors, my heroes, my mentors and my first Bible teachers.

God in his infinite wisdom has given me two more mentors. Pastor Theo Allen McNair, Senior Pastor of Believers’ Bible Christian Church in Atlanta, Ga., has been my pastor and mentor for almost 25 years.

It is to him that I gave my first symbolic cup to a prophet. And then there is the Rev. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for life. I can’t tell you how much he has helped me to understand that God’s gifts to us can increase when we stand for the Gospel of life.

As I close, I’d like to encourage everyone to also remember those fathers whose lives have been touched by the abortion of their seed.

God wants to heal all the fathers of the world. I’d like to share a blog message from Kevin Burke about this.

Let the healing begin!

Dr. Alveda C. King grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Her family home in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Ky. Alveda herself was jailed during the open housing movement. Read more reports from Dr. Alveda C. King — Click Here Now.

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