Wood, pastor of Baltimore’s Providence Baptist Church, affirms the righteousness of the struggle in Montgomery using biblical allusions and calls his Crozer classmate “Lion King.” 1 He also compares King to Davy Crockett, the nineteenth-century American pioneer.
Dear Dr. King or Dr. David Croket:
It was one of the happiest moments of my life when I read a few weeks ago of the wonderful work you are doing for your people in the South. I wish I were there to help you. You are becoming as a prophet of this day and age and I hope you will see it through. Be like Isaiah of old walk the streets barefooted until the waters of hate roll back to the ocean of eternity.2 Fight on till the stars shall reach dwon and take in their nimble hands the slivery clouds and wipe the tears from the face of the moon tilling it to weep no more for Lion King is on the march. Fight on and if necessary ask God to stop the sun or close up the heavens and let no rain or dew fall on the soil of Alabama until judgment shall come to town with righteousness in his suitcase. Fight on till the hills of Alabama skip and dance like a fairy just waking from a long winter nap.
The Ministers here in Baltimore and in other communities across the country are with you. You were the topic at our conference last monday. They ask me to write you to let you know they are praying for you and know of the hardship through which you are passing.
I know you are preaching like mad now. You have thrown Crozer aside and you have found the real God and you can tell the world now that he is a God who moves in a mysterious way. That he will be your battle ax in the time of war and preserve you from your enemy. He will send his angles to camp around you and none shall come neigh unto you. Go on son in the name of Jesus you will conquor.
Kind regards to Mrs. King. Together you all are writing history.
M. G. Wood
1. Marcus Garvey Wood (1920-), born in Gloucester, Virginia, earned his B.A. (1948) from Storer College and his B.D. (1951) from Crozer Theological Seminary. He served as pastor of Wainwright Baptist Church in Charles Town, West Virginia (1945-1948); Bethlehem Baptist Church in Woodbury, New Jersey (1948-1952); and Providence Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland (1952-). Since 1952 he has been a member of the NAACP and the Baptist Ministers Conference of Baltimore and Vicinity.
2. Isaiah 20:1-3.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.