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To Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

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Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Date: April 14, 1954

Location: Boston, Mass.

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Career in Ministry


After meeting with the members of Dexter’s pulpit committee on 4 April King conditionally accepts the call to the pastorate, at a salary that will make him one of the highest-paid black ministers in Montgomery.

Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
R. D. Nesbitt, Clerk 
Dexter Avenue 
Montgomery, Alabama

Dear Officers and Members:

After giving your call the most serious and prayerful consideration, I am very happy to say that I accept it. However, I find it necessary to predicate my acceptance upon the following considerations:

  1. That the parsonage will be completely furnished.
  2. That I be granted an allowance of time to complete my work at Boston University coming to you as full time pastor not later than September 1st, 1954. However in this interval I will be able to fill the pulpit at least once or twice per month. In such a proposal, I would expect you to take care of my expenses, including traveling expenses.
  3. With reference to salary, I will accept the proposed $4200.00 with the expectation of this being increased as the Church progresses.

Other matters will be discussed on my next visit with you. Please let me hear from you as soon as possible concerning your reaction to the above considerations.

Again I want to express my deep gratitude and sincere appreciation to you for extending me this great honor. It is my only hope that I will prove worthy of the tremendous responsibility and profound challenge inherent in such an honor.

You have my continual prayers and best wishes in all of your endeavors.

Sincerely yours, 
Martin L. King, Jr.

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

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