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From Milton Britton

Britton, Milton
Roxbury, Mass.
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Threats/attacks against


This letter of support came from a member of Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, where King had occasionally served as a guest preacher while a student in Boston. Britton refers to a sermon that may have been an early version of “Loving Your Enemies,” which King later published.1 King thanked Britton for his letter on 4 June.

Rev. King

How are you and family. We are well.

I am writing because of the recent incident that took place last week to your home. It takes great spiritual courage to brave the trail of equal liberty. I pray that God is with your (and others) every move. With God as your guidon you are bound to succeed.

Since I heard of your crusade, and {others} there in Montgomery, remind me of the great sermon you preached at 12th/. It was taken from the 5th/ chapter of St Matthew, and the 44th/ verse: But I say unto You, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and presecute you; (45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven;

May God bless all of you Your efforts of great works will be a blessing to generations to come.

Yours in Christ
[signed] Milton Britton

1. King, Strength to Love(New York Harper & Row, 1963), pp. 34-41. “Loving Your Enemies” was King’s first sermon as pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1954. Milton Britton (1922-1984), born in Alabama, graduated from West Virginia’s Dunbar High School in 1941. A factory worker from the early 1950s to the late 1970s, Britton served as a deacon and Sunday school superintendent for Twelfth Baptist Church for many years.


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