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From Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

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Author: Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (Montgomery, Ala.)

Date: October 24, 1960

Location: Montgomery, Ala.

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Arrests


On 23 October, after black community leaders and white business owners agreed to a thirty-day halt to student-led demonstrations, charges stemming from the Atlanta sit-ins were dropped and all protesters except King were released from the Fulton County jail. King remained in custody awaiting a 25 October hearing to determine if his sit-in arrest violated the terms of a suspended sentence imposed on him in September when he was convicted of a minor traffic violation in DeKalb County.1 The Dexter congregation sends the following telegram of support to the King home.

dr and mrs martin luther king jr
363 johnson ave northeast atla

dear friends as in the past we want you to know that the entire membership of dexter avenue baptist church still feels strongly attached to you and to the great ministry which you are performing we want you to know that our prayers are with both of you doing this present moment of crisis through which you are passing our prayer is that true justice and good will, will prevail

dexter avenue baptist church herbert m eaton pastor.

1. While driving with white author Lillian Smith on 4 May, King was stopped by police and charged with having an improper driving license. Pleading guilty in Judge J. Oscar Mitchell's court on 23 September, King was fined $25.00 and sentenced to a twelve-month probation. King later told reporters that he had not been informed about the suspended sentence ("Dr. King Is Accused under Old Charge," New York Times, 25 October 1960; see also Frank Wells, "King Held on Old Count As Sit-Inners Leave Jail," Atlanta Constitution, 24 October 1960).

Source: SCLCR-GAMK, Southern Christian Leadership Conference Records, 1954-1970, Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc., Atlanta, Ga., Box 5.

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