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To Homer Alexander Jack

King, Martin Luther, Jr. (Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (Montgomery, Ala.))
August 20, 1956
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Career in Ministry


In a 27 June letter, Jack mentioned to King an upcoming visit to Montgomery and offered to speak “on the life and meaning of Gandhi.” King asked the Unitarian minister to fill Dexter’s pulpit on 29 July, but Jack did not receive the invitation; he therefore cut his trip to the South short after visiting King Sr., in Atlanta. On 1 August King again invited Jack to Montgomery, and on 12 August Jack delivered an address titled "From Gandhi to Montgomery The Life and Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi." Gandhi saw passive resistance as a weapon against racism, Jack observed, and fought segregation successfully in South Africa for twenty years because he believed that “one determined individual, inspired by unquenchable faith, can stand up against the whole world and alter the course of history.” Jack also compared Gandhi’s protest methods with King’s. "As with Gandhi, so with Dr. King - he confounds and baffles his opponents by the simple justice of his demands, by refusal to hate or retaliate.” Jack's address was later excerpted in the Dexter Echo. 1

Dr. Homer A. Jack, Minister
The Unitarian Church of Evanston
1405 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, Illinois

Dear Dr. Jack:

May I express to you, on behalf of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, our profound thanks for the signal contribution you made to our worship last Sunday morning. I understand that your moving message was admirably attuned to the occasion and, as you must have noted, made deep impact on the listeners. All week long I have heard nothing but favorable comments concerning your message and your presence. I only regret that this engagement fell at a time when most of our members were away on vacation. We will look forward to having you again when our whole congregation will have the opportunity to hear you.

I would appreciate it very much if you could send a copy of your message. The editor of our church paper has already requested a copy to be printed in the next issue of the paper. Since I missed the message, it would mean so much if I could at least read it. If this does not inconvenience you, we will look forward to your sending it as soon as possible.

With all good wishes in your vital work, and with warm regards to you and Mrs. Jack, in which Mrs. King joins me

Sincerely yours,
Martin L. King, Jr.,


P.S. Please send me Lillian Smith’s address.

1.“From Gandhi to Montgomery: The Life and Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi,” Dexter Echo, 3 October 1956, pp. I, 3.


MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.