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To M. C. Ballenger

King, Martin Luther, Jr. (Dexter Avenue Baptist Church)
December 15, 1955
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Career in Ministry


King declines a position at Shurtleff College, a coeducational Baptist liberal arts college in southern Illinois.

Dean M. C. Ballenger1
Shurtleff College
Alton, Illinois

Dear Dean Ballenger:

Thanks for your very kind letter of December 6.

I am quite interested in the work that is being done at Shurtleff College, but at present my pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church is of such a nature that I would not like to consider moving. I feel that the job that I am attempting to do here will take a few more years to be completed. I am deeply grateful to you and the institution for being willing to consider me for this very significant position.

With every good wish, I am

Sincerely yours,
M. L. King, Jr.


1. Milton Cornelius Ballenger (1918–) was a Baptist minister with a Ph.D. (1954) from Yale. He served as an educator and administrator at Shurtleff College from 1952 until 1970. Ballenger’s letter to King has not been located.


DABCC-INP, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church Collection, In Private Hands.