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To Samuel D. Proctor

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Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr. (Dexter Avenue Baptist Church)

Date: October 1, 1954 to October 31, 1954?

Location: Montgomery, Ala.?

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Career in Ministry


King invites Proctor, a fellow graduate of Crozer and Boston, to speak at Dexter’s Spring Lecture Series on the general theme “The Relevance of the New Testament to the Contemporary Situation.” Proctor agreed to lecture on 27–29 April 1955.1

Dr. Samuel D. Proctor, Vice-President
Virginia Union University
Richmond, Virginia

Dear Proctor:

I am in the process of setting up my program for the coming church year. In my recommendations to the church, I suggested that we have a Spring Lecture Series. I am seeking to make this an annual event at which time I will attempt to bring some of our best minds to Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, to discuss some of the major doctrines and issues of the Christian Faith. I need not remind you that most church people are appallingly ignorant at this point. This will be the first time that such a series has been attempted at Dexter, but I am sure that with the right speaker, it can be worked into one of the most significant events of the church year.

I know of no one who is more qualified to initiate this series than you. So I am extending the invitation to you to serve as our lecturer for the series. The series will cover a period of three nights, April 27, 28, 29, 1955 (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday), and I would like for you to stay over and preach for the 11 o’clock service the 1st Sunday in May. I would like to make the general theme for this series “The Relevance of the New Testament to the Contemporary Situation.” So that your three lectures would grow out of this general theme. However, if you are more disirous of lecutring in another area, that will be acceptable. The time limit for the lecture and discussion should not exceed one hour and fifteen minutes. Although this is referred to as a lecture series, it is hoped that the lectures will be inspirational as well as informative.

I am seeking to make this a “big event” for our church and the community at large. I sincerely hope that you can accept the invitation. Your presence as well as your message would mean so much to the success of the occasion. Please let me hear from you as soon as possible concerning this matter so that I can proceed in setting up my church calendar for the year.

I hope everything goes well with you. Give my regards to all my friends at Virginia Union.

With best wishes, I remain

Sincerely yours,
M. L. King, Jr.


1. See Proctor to King, 28 October 1954, MLKP-MBU.

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

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