While recuperating, King received daily summaries of his office phone calls and correspondence from his secretary Maude Ballou. With her 16 October report Ballou forwarded this "very beautiful letter" from Dexter members Effie and R. D. Crockett.1 R D. Crockett, a professor at Alabama State College and a friend of King's from Boston University, occasionally served as a guest preacher at Dexter during the fall of 1958.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
New York, New York
Dear Brother King,
The sentiments of this letter have been in my mind ever since the shocking news of your tragic experience reached us, but until now I have not been able to put them on paper. For this delay, please forgive me and accept our deepest and utmost apologies. Effie and I have been in constant and solemn prayer for your recovery throughout this period. When we heard that you had gained sufficient strength to be released from the hospital, we rejoiced and felt assured that you had been and still are in the hands of a kind Father.
During this painful experience, you have demonstrated heroically that you know the Shepherd and that He has allowed you to taste the "secrets of the Most High." You have shown by your patience and courage that you have a personal understanding of what it means to "wait upon the Lord." We know that He will "renew your strength" and restore you to fulness of life.
Now as you convalesce, permit me to say to you and your dear family that in "quietness and confidence" shall be adequate strength. Take time and allow your body to rebuild itself. Your mental and spiritual powers will tend to out-run their physical base and tempt you to want to get back in the "running" immediately. But remember that in respect to health as in social life, there should be integration. Body and mind must function as a whole. Therefore, we urge you to rest, relax, and play in order that the rich rejuvenating forces of the universe may have the freedom and the time to make you completely healthy again.
Do not worry about your church nor about Montgomery. We will help take care of them.
Sending prayers and soul-felt wishes for sound and complete recovery, we are
Cordially and faithfully yours,
[signed] R. D. Effie
R. D. and Effie Crockett
1. For similar reports, see Ballou to King, 25 September, 10 October, and 21 October 1958. Effie Bell Crockett (1917-), born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in Montgomery, received a B.S. from Alabama A&M University and an M.S. from Columbia University. Crockett worked as a college administrator and educator at Alabama State, Philander Smith College, Bennett College, and Howard University.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.