The sacred sanctuary where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached is again open for the public in Atlanta to visit the birthplace of the civil rights icon's vision of justice and equality in America.

The King family was joined Friday by members of the civil rights movement and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in celebrating the reopening of Ebenezer Baptist Church. The church has been called the cornerstone of the King legacy.

Salazar said the church was "hallowed ground for a nation still very much in progress."

The Rev. Joseph Lowery worked alongside King. He says the church and its ministry have long been a part of the country's history.

The $8 million project restored the church to its original appearance from 1960 to 1968, when King co-pastored with his father.

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Online:

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site: http://www.nps.gov/malu/index.htm