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From Sankey L. Blanton

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Author: Blanton, Sankey L. (Crozer Theological Seminary)

Date: August 1, 1955

Location: Chester, Pa.

Genre: Letter

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

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Education


Blanton congratulates King on his doctorate and inquires about an applicant for admission to Crozer.

Dr. M. L. King, Jr.
309 South Jackson Street
Montgomery, Alabama

Dear Dr. King:

Thank you for your letter and the enclosed abstract of your dissertation leading to the doctorate. I congratulate you now that the Ph.D. is in hand, and I assure you of my continued interest in your career. I have abounding confidence in your ability and integrity, and would like to see more of you.

When I am through Alabama again in the Fall, I will try to give you prior notice of my arrival in Montgomery.

Incidentally, we had some correspondence with the young man who works with you. At the time I left the office, he had not completed his application papers with us. We would certainly be glad to have him in our student body next year, and if he has not completed said papers, I would appreciate your giving him a gentle shove in the right direction.1 Please remember me kindly to Mrs. King.

Yours sincerely,
[signed] Sankey L. Blanton/hd
Sankey L. Blanton


Dict. Wilmington, N.C.

1. Blanton refers to John Thomas Porter (1931–), a student applicant. Crozer’s acting registrar, Lucile B. Knapp, also wrote King about Porter’s plans; see Knapp to King, 29 June 1955, MLKP-MBU. In the fall of 1955 Porter enrolled in Morehouse’s School of Religion rather than at Crozer. He received his B.S. from Alabama State College in 1955 and his B.D. from Morehouse in 1958. After serving as an assistant to King at Dexter during the 1954–1955 academic year, Porter interned with King, Sr., at Ebenezer while at Morehouse. He became pastor of Detroit’s First Baptist Institutional Church in 1958 before being called to Birmingham’s Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in 1962. King spoke at Porter’s installation service in Birmingham on 9 December 1962. Porter was active in the Birmingham movement with King and Fred Shuttlesworth during the 1960s. He still serves at Sixth Avenue. See John Thomas Porter to King Papers Project, 10 August 1990.

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

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