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From John Thomas Porter

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Author: Porter, John Thomas (Morehouse College)

Date: November 3, 1955

Location: Atlanta, Ga.

Genre: Letter

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


Porter, who had assisted King at Dexter, inquires about future preaching opportunities.

Dear Rev. King:

I trust this letter will find you and Mrs. King in the best of health and enjoying life. At the present time I am doing fine and studying hard.

I had wanted to come to Montgomery the first of this month but due to a rapidly disappearing treasure I thought I better wait until Thanksgiving. I will be in Montgomery on the Thanksgiving weekend without fail.

Rev. King, as you know, there comes a time in every man’s life when he must take on the responsibilities of manhood. When I came to Atlanta I was in hope of getting an assistantship with a small income. I am a little doubtful now about the possibilities of such a thing becoming a reality. Dr. Watson is trying to work out some appointments. Your Father is one of the few Ministers who is quite liberal in matters of this sort. But due to the building program that he is in the midst off, I can see where it will be hard for him to take on extra responsibility. Therefore I will have to locate engagements in order to have a little something coming in. I would be more than appreciative if you would let me preach for you on Sundays when you are away. I can pay my own train fare and still have 5 or 6 dollars left. You will never know how much just a few dollars will mean to me. On second thought, I know you are aware of how much a few dollar can mean. If you have somebody working with you already I will understand. I can never repay you already for your kindness. If you care to discuss the matter further I will look forward to doing so on the 4th sunday.

You asked me about my love life when you were passing through. Well, sometime I think I’ll just be a bachelor. I’ll tell you more about it when I see you. (smile)

Please give my regards to Mrs. King and the rest of the church. I will write again very soon.

Yours in Christ, 
John T. Porter

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

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