Kilgore, pastor of New York’s Friendship Baptist Church, where King had preached in 1954, announced a large contribution from New York area churches at an MIA mass meeting on 1 March.
Reverend Martin L. King
309 South Jackson Street
Dear Reverend King:
This letter comes bearing another report. I will have to write you, when I have more time, about my reaction to the visit there. I simply state this time, ‘More power to you and the people of Montgomery as you go forward’.
I would like to make two statements. One in the form of a request. First, the check for $267.67 that was to complete the report I left seemed to have been lost in the mail. The Baptist State Convention has agreed to issue another in the next two days. I will send it as soon as I receive it. Secondly, the conference has asked me to request from you a photostat copy or a verified typed copy of the letter you received last week from Reverend Richard Lowe.1 (If you remember this is the letter which expressed doubt about our contribution being sent to Montgomery.) It would help us a great deal if you would get this letter to me by Monday, March the 12th.
I am enclosing an additional report of $1,227.82. There will be more next week.
Thomas Kilgore, Jr.
1. Kilgore refers to a 27 February 1956 letter from Lowe, a minister at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, in which he expressed concern that the funds raised in New York for the MIA would not be received by the group. Lowe asked King to confirm the legitimacy of the MIA and account for its expenses. In response to a second letter from Lowe, King’s secretary, Maude Ballou, explained that “the tremendous pressure of the present situation” prevented a prompt reply from King. King’s response to Kilgore or Lowe, if any, has not been located. See Richard A. Lowe to King, 27 February and 7 April 1956; and Ballou to Lowe, 13 April 1956.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.