Rev. Dr. Donna “Mama” King dies at the age of 64

January 13, 2021

Rev. Dr. Donna King (PhD Edu 2010 was the Pastor of Bellefonte’s St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church. Often known as “Mama King,” King was a pastor, historian, and lecturer in African American Studies at Penn State. She was well known for researching and teaching about the abolitionist movement in Bellefonte and Centre County. She regularly gave walking tours of Bellefonte stops on the Underground Railroad with a lantern while singing “Oh Freedom.”

“You’ve got to keep your mind straight on freedom, you have to have that abolitionist mindset. You’ve got to come together and listen to each other’s stories and find out what the local history is, wherever you are,” King described her guiding principles when she spoke to WPSU in the summer of 2020. King was featured in the WPSU Series Keystone Stories. King died in on January 7, 2021 at the age of 64 from cancer.