For Immediate Release
August 20, 2010
Contact Information

Rica Orszag
Washington, DC Martin Luther King,
Jr. National Memorial
Project Foundation, Inc.
202 253 8974


(BLACK PR WIRE) (WASHINGTON, AUGUST 20, 2010) – From June 17-18, seventeen of the nation’s most influential ministers launched the Faith Based Countdown to Completion campaign to raise the remaining $13 million for the Washington, DC Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington. The ministers jointly responsible for having raised $2 million for the memorial are challenging other ministers nationwide to join their cause.

The Faith Based Countdown to Completion Campaign is geared toward pastors and their communities to assist the Memorial Foundation in their fundraising endeavor. The campaign will conclude on Martin Luther King Day, January 17, 2011.

Four of the major churches involved in this effort are Hartford Memorial Baptist of Detroit, Brentwood Baptist of Houston, Friendship-West Baptist of Dallas and Trinity United Church of Christ of Chicago. These four churches have been assisting the Memorial Foundation since the campaign’s early years.

With over $107 million raised for the memorial, the development of the Faith Based Leadership Council has brought about a strong and effective outreach to the nation’s church-goers. Rev. Joseph Ratliff of Brentwood Baptist of Houston co-chairs with Rev. Frederick Haines of Friendship-West Baptist of Dallas on the council. Ratliff, also a member on the Memorial Foundation's Board of Directors, has raised nearly $60 thousand dollars through his church and has also made a sizable personal contribution. His fundraising in the Houston area as a whole brought the Memorial Foundation more than $113 thousand.

"People often forget that King was not only a civil rights leader, but also a minister. His connection to our community must be realized and appreciated,” said Rev. Ratliff. Churches giving more than five thousand dollars to support the King Memorial will receive VIP invitations to various special events during the week long dedication activities and permanent recognition at the memorial site.

Prior to the development of the new council, Rev. Frederick Haynes assisted the Memorial Foundation to raise over $96 thousand dollars by orchestrating a city-wide fundraising campaign through churches across Dallas. His congregation alone, Friendship-West Baptist, raised $63 thousand for the Memorial Foundation. "I am passionate about this project. King must be remembered and we can't do this without the financial help of the church community.”

Rev. Dr. Charles Gilchrist Adams of Detroit’s, Hartford Memorial Baptist, donation of $50 thousand, was the first pastor to join the Faith Based Leadership Council and has assisted the Memorial Foundation to raise over $123 thousand through his church and churches in the Detroit region. "The Civil Rights era must never be forgotten. Dr. King's contribution to that cause and also to the house of the Lord must never be forgotten," said Rev. Adams. “The Memorial Foundation needs churches to join hands in solidarity to help us to complete the dream.”

"I am grateful to have such generous and influential pastors taking up the charge to assist us complete fundraising," mentioned Harry Johnson, President and CEO of the Memorial Foundation. "This project could never have been done without the generosity of the faith community, and for their continued contributions, I am overjoyed."

About The Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.

Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish a Memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C. Construction commenced on December 16, 2009 and the Memorial will be completed in 2011. For more information or to make a donation, please visit To join this unique group of Church’s in this quest to memorialize Dr. King on the National Mall please call (202) 737-5420.