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From Walter R. McCall

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Author: McCall, Walter R. (Fort Valley State College)

Date: September 29, 1955

Location: Fort Valley, Ga.

Genre: Letter

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

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Family


In a letter of 19 August McCall had invited King to participate in the Fort Valley State College’s Religious Emphasis Week that October. King accepted the invitation, whereupon McCall sent this letter outlining his friend’s responsibilities for the week. King’s sermons at the event included “The Dimensions of a Complete Life” and “Going Forward by Turning Back,” another title for “Rediscovering Lost Values.”1

Dr. M. L. King, Jr., Minister
The Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
Montgomery, Alabama

Dear Mike,

This letter is a bit late due to our failure to get the necessary meetings underway pertaining thereto. Below is information relative to your expected responsibilities in regard to our Religious Emphasis Week:

  1. You will be expected to preach on M., W., and Friday during our regular Chapel period. We have about thirty (30) minutes. May be 15 to 20 minutes of that time can be used by the speaker.
  2. Your preaching activities will reach their climax during our Vesper Hour—4:30 p.m. on that following Sunday. About 25 to 35 minutes are given to the Messenger (Preacher).
  3. Be prepared to lead a discussion on the topics appearing on the program. Note: The topic “E” refers to “lands, property, lawn, etc”. In other words, what has Christianity has to say to us about keeping, or creating a wholesome physical environment?
  4. You will be expected to be available for consultation with students.
  5. Drop me a line suggesting any thing you would have me do that will aid you in our success during the Week.
  6. When possible, forward the topics of your sermons.
  7. Note in “D” the term ‘business’ refers to manufacturing enterprises, hiring etc.
  8. If you say, I will have Charles W. Ward to schedule you to speak to his congregation on Sunday October 23, 1955 at 11:00 o’clock.2

All things are going relatively well for us. As you can imagine, we are kept quite busy as Norma is in school. With best wishes and many regards to all, I am

Sincerely yours,
[signed] (Walter) Mac
Walter R. McCall

1. For a complete list of King’s sermons and speeches at Fort Valley, see the Chronology, 17–23 October 1955, at the beginning of this volume.

2. Charles W. Ward (1915–) was executive secretary of Georgia’s Missionary and Educational Convention. A fellow Baptist preacher, Ward graduated from Morehouse in 1942, six years before King and McCall.

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

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