Montgomery, AL (WSFA) -- For those lucky few who knew Dr. King, it's hard to believe that forty years have passed.
A handful of residents gathered at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church Friday night for a memorial service in the place the man called home for years.
Many of them remember the news of King's death like it was yesterday.
Fast forward to 2008--four decades later--where King's legacy has touched the nation--and beyond.
"I stand here today to acknowledge the significant role that Dr. King has played in the development of the lives of many people all over the world," said the Reverend F.D. Reese at Friday's memorial service.
For Reese, a leader in the voting rights movement and the Selma to Montgomery march, Dr. King stood as a backbone in times of strife.
For many more Americans, he served as a leader and an advisor for change.
"I just hadn't adopted the notion of turning the other cheek to those that had--with regularity--that had teed off, so to speak, on all the anatomies of African Americans over time," admitted Attorney Thomas Gray.
Although, friends say, King left the world too soon, his strength of character and unwavering campaign of non-violence helped pave the way for generations to come.
"I can never forget that--with that kind of fearlessness--he was able to accomplish many things," said Dr. Ralph Bryson, a former church member.