Loverude, the pastor of First United Baptist Church in Lowell, Massachusetts, had invited King to speak for the church’s College of Missions on 12 April. In an 18 February letter Loverude asked King to “tell us something of what it means to be a member of the minority race in the South.”1 This draft of a reply to Loverude’s letter and the following one to D. E. King were written on the same page. The final versions of both letters have not been found.
The Reverend Otto R. Loverude
First United Baptist Church
Church and George Streets
Dear Rev. Loverude:
This is to acknowledge your letter of February 18. Following your suggestion I will use as a subject at the 5:30 discussion group: “What it means to be a Negro in the South.” My subject for the regular evening service will be: “What does it mean to believe in God?”
I am very happen to be able to serve you and your church and I will look forward to this occasion with great anticipation. Please feel free to contact me about any additional information. I would appreciate it very much if you would give me some directions as to getting to the church. I will be driving out.
[signed] Martin L. King Jr.
1. See Loverude to King, 18 February 1953, MLKP-MBU: Box 117. Loverude (1900–1973) received his B.D. from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary near Chicago and his M.A. from Colgate Rochester Divinity School. He served as pastor of First United Baptist Church in Lowell, Massachusetts, from 1940 until 1955.
MLKP, MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.