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From T. H. Randall

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Author: Randall, Thomas Hamilton

Date: December 1, 1959

Location: Montgomery, Ala.

Genre: Letter

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


Church deacon T. H. Randall reflects on King’s pastorate two days after the announcement of his resignation from Dexter.


Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., Pastor
Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
Montgomery, Alabama

Dear Dr. King:

The church year ended today—hence this report. In the first place I want to express to you my thanks and appreciation for the opportunity to visit the sick, shut-in and the members generally—which has meant so much to me.1 To visit the sick, shut-in and the church generally, to hear them talk and to have the privilege of talking with them I find that my own experience has been enriched with a deeper sense of my own responsibility as a Christian.

Moreover, I want you to know, also, that the kind of life you have lived as our pastor, the sermons and talks have served as a compelling force in our life—urging us to live the full life thus broadening the horizons of our responsibilities beyond our own church.

In closing I wish to say that your coming as pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and Mrs. Coretta King as first lady of the Dexter family has meant more to us than you ever will know. Under your leadership the spirit of togetherness and fellowship is evidenced throughout the church.

I trust that God will continue to bless you in every endeavor. I trust, also, that life will continue to bring things to your liking.

[Randall lists twenty-two church members visited and indicates eleven who took communion]

Respectfully submitted,
T. H. Randall
Church Visitor


1. In November 1958 King appointed Randall “church visitor,” a position newly created “to give the pastor some assistance in the multiplicity of duties that have accumulated as a result of his larger ministry to the community and nation” (King, “Annual Report, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church,” November 1957-30 November 1958).

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