The First African Baptist Church along with the City of Dublin unveiled two new monuments commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.

On April 17, 1944, over 70 years ago, King gave his first public speech at the church when he was 14 years old.

One of the monuments stands in Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument Park, and functions as a bench. It was created by artist Corey Barksdale. The piece is titled “Freedom Ascension.”

Barksdale said he came up with the title because King was dedicated to moving from one reality to a more positive reality.

The other monument, created by artist Juan Lleras, stands across the street near the church. It depicts King at a podium.

The monuments were a collaborative effort between the church, the city, the artists, and even private companies.

“That we all could work together, even the private citizens, and as I stated earlier, I believe that this gave the opportunity of what Dr. King represented -- all people from all walks of life, coming together for one effort.

Some notable companies and organizations that pitched in were YKK, AP America, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, the Department of Economic Develop, and the Downtown Development Authority.

Anderson said this was many years in the making.

“Now with these monuments being erected, people will be coming from all over the world,” Anderson said. “They will have the opportunity to experience some of what took place here in Dublin.”