In a November 1956 letter Lloyd asked King’s permission to nominate him for the presidency of the National Baptist Convention, proclaiming, “I have longed for a Baptist messiah like you since 1932!!” 1
The Rev. Gil Burton Lloyd, Minister
Mount Zion Baptist Church
Nineteenth Avenue and East Madison Street
Seattle 22, Washington
Dear Rev. Lloyd:
For several weeks now I have intended answering your letter of November 28, but a very busy schedule has always stood in my way.
I have thought seriously about the matter which you suggested in the letter concerning the presidency of the National Baptist Convention. Naturally, I am indeed honored to know that anyone would think of me for such a responsible position. I can assure you that I am deeply grateful to you for your kindness and generosity.
After thinking over the proposition you have suggested, I have concluded that I have an obligation to continue to devote my undivided attention to the situation here in Montgomery. I feel that the confidence that the people have in me and their readiness to follow my leadership have thrust upon me a responsibility that I must follow through with. I do hope that you understand that I am deeply appreciative of your interest in me and in the situation here. I shall always be grateful for your faith and confidence in me.
With kindest regards and best wishes as you enter the new year.
Yours very truly,
M. L. King, Jr.,
1. Lloyd to King, 28 November 1956, in Papers 3:443-444.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.