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From D. E. King

King, D. E. (Zion Baptist Church)
February 17, 1953
Louisville, Ky.
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Career in Ministry
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Family


D. E. King, pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, had met King in 1949 at the National Baptist Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress, which was associated with the National Baptist Convention.1

The Reverend M. L. King, Jr.
397 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts

My dear Brother King:

We met in a casual way during the Congress session, in Memphis 1949. However, because of my friendship with your Dad and Mother, I feel that I am personally acquainted with you.

This letter is occasioned by the reply which your father made to an invitation for him to preach at our church. He could not come and recommended you. Because I had other plans in case he did not acacept, I found it inconvenient to invite you for this particular occasion. However, I thought we might work out an engagement with you for any regular Sunday morning and night as you return home from school this spring or summer. If this be possible please advise as to the time that you expect to return home. I am sure that your coming will be an inspiration to all of us, and especially the young people.

With anticipation for sharing your fellowship and services, and praying God’s choicest blessing upon you, I am

Sincerely yours,
D. E. King

1. Dearine Edwin King (1910–) received his A.B. at LeMoyne College and his B.D. and M.A. at the Howard University School of Religion. He was pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Louisville from 1946 until 1963, when he became pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in New York. D. E. King also served as secretary of the National Baptist Convention.


MLKP, MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.