A service marking what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 80th birthday got under way at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the slain civil rights leader preached from 1960 until his death in 1968.
Only one of King's three living children, Bernice, was in attendance. His sister, Christine King Farris, and nephew Isaac Newton Farris Jr. both spoke.
But many prominent civil rights leaders who usually attend the annual service were absent, having already traveled to Washington for Barack Obama's inauguration Tuesday.
King's son Martin Luther King III was in Washington already and his other son Dexter King -- who lives in California -- did not attend. Their other sister, Yolanda, died in 2007.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)