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To Samuel S. Thomas

King, Martin Luther, Jr. (Dexter Avenue Baptist Church)
October 9, 1956
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Career in Ministry


Mr. Samuel S. Thomas, 62172
Camp 602
Brunswick, N. C.

Dear Mr. Thomas:

Thanks for your very kind letter of September 25. I read your letter with a great deal of interest and I am very happy to know that you have done a great deal of serious thinking while you have been in the process of serving a prison term. I was also happy to know of your interest in religion and your desire to become a minister. I would say that if you are definitely serious about this matter and you are willing to make the sacrifices necessary you have just as much right to enter the ministry as anybody else. Your experience in prison and the conversion which seems to have followed such an experience should give you a great deal of practical wisdom in guiding people who are grappling with the difficult decisions of life. I don't think there is anything wrong with a person who is serving a term in prison going into the ministry if that person is definitely reformed. You might be just a person to demonstrate to hundreds of thousands who are going wrong in our society the wisdom of going the right way. My only advice to you would be, be sure that you are serious and willing to confront all of the sacrifices of the ministry.

After checking through my books I find that I have loaned my copy of The Social Principles of Jesus to a ministerial friend in Atlanta. I would be very happy to send it to you if I had it on hand at this time.

I was more than happy to receive your letter. Please know that you are in my prayers. I hope that God’s richest blessings will be with you in all of your endeavors in the future.

Very sincerely yours,
M. L. King, Jr.,



MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.