Nance, pastor of Greater Mt. Camel Baptist Church in St. Louis, urges King to run for president of the National Baptist Convention.1 Fearing that the convention would split over the issue of presidential tenure, Nance seek a strong candidate against J. H. Jackson. King’s response, if any, has not been located. He did not pursue the presidency.
Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
309 So. Jackson Avenue
Dr. M. L. King Jr.
Dear M. L.
I am writing you in behalf of an organization that is being formed here, that will be know as, “KING FOR PRESIDENT OF THE NATL. BAPTIST CONVENTION INC.”, If you will accept the same.
If you will accept there is and will not be any strings attached, such as, signing papers or nothing else. All we want is for you to give us the go signal.
We feel that you are the only one that can or keep the convention from splitting. Secondly, you are the type of man that we need to lead us to “VICTORY” because you depend on God to lead you.
I would like to hear from you at once on this matter for we want to set up such organizations in every state.
[signed]Rev. Earl E. Nance Sr.
Rev. Earl E. Nance
E .E.N. /mw
1. Earl Edward Nance, Sr. (1913-), was born in Alma, Arkansas, and graduated from Morehouse College in 1945. He did graduate work at Gammon Theological Seminary after being ordained as a Baptist minister in 1942. In 1951 he became pastor of Greater Mt. Cannel Baptist Church, where he still serves.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.