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To Walter George Muelder

King, Martin Luther, Jr. (Montgomery Improvement Association)
October 3, 1956
Montgomery, Ala.
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Travels


In a 16 September letter to King, Muelder noted that he had been following "with admiration and keen interest your leadership and experiences in the dramatic days of the past year." He invited King and his wife to "spend a week or so away from the daily tensions by coming to Boston and enjoying a quiet retreat." 1

Dr. Walter G. Muelder, Dean
School of Theology
Boston University
745 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston 15, Massachusetts

Dear Dean Muelder:

Thanks for your very kind letter of September 16. Absence from the city has delayed my reply.

I cannot begin to express my deep appreciation to you and the whole School of Theology for the interest that you have taken in our struggle. Such moral support and Christian generosity give me renewed courage and vigor to carry on.

Your gracious invitation, inviting me to come to Boston for a few days of rest, meditation, and fellowship, is one that appeals to me greatly. I can assure you that this would meet a real need in my life. Unfortunately, however, my schedule is so set up that such a retreat cannot be undertaken for the next two or three months. I did get an opportunity to get away for two or three weeks this summer, and it turned out to be very helpful for Mrs. King and me.

I am very sorry that my schedule made it impossible for me to accept the invitation to speak for the Zions Herald Banquet in December.2 However, I will be in Boston the last of October to speak for the Ford Hall Forum.3 I will look forward with great anticipation to seeing you and my many friends around Boston University. Please extend my best regards to the faculty members of the School of Theology.

With warm personal regards, I am
Sincerely yours,
[signed] Martin
Martin L. King, Jr.


1.Walter George Muelder (1907-), born in Boody, Illinois, received his B.S. (1927) from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and his S.T.B. (1930) and Ph.D. (1933) from Boston University. Muelder was pastor of a Wisconsin church before moving to Kentucky to head the department of philosophy and Bible at Berea College. In 1940 he joined the faculty of the University of Southern California, returning to Boston University five years later to become a professor of social ethics and dean of the School of Theology, where he remained for years. Muelder edited and wrote many publications, including Religion and Economic Responsibility (1953).

2.In his letter Muelder noted that the Wesleyan Association and the Zion's Herald, a publication of the Methodist Church, were inviting King to speak on 17 December.

3.On 28 October King delivered “A Realistic Look at Race Relations” at Jordan Hall for the Ford Hall Forum.


WMP-MBU, Walter Muelder Papers, Boston University, Boston, Mass.