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From Walter R. McCall

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

Date: February 1, 1956

Location: Fort Valley, Ga.

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Family


Kings classmate at Morehouse and Crozer offers encouragement and advice. McCall’s letter included the notation “Reverend King c/o Dr. Trenholm,” a reference to H. Councill Trenholm, president of Alabama State College and a deacon of Dexter.

Dear Mike,

It was good to get first hand information as to how you are getting on the strife involving so many people.

Needless to say that {the] momentous task under which you and others have gone is a well worthy one. That in itself should give you all the encouragement necessary. But more than that THE PEOPLE ARE WITH YOU. So, be not afraid in as much as they are with you. . . . God is even more on your side. DO NOT BACK DOWN, DO NOT SWERVE. KEEP THE COURAGE. KEEP THE PATIENCE. THE task must be met head-on which well merits your stand.

I may add that it will be a good thing if you would, as the occasion arises, leave town for a rest. The task takes strength. So, as often as possible, go away for a rest, prayer and meditate that you may build up a reservoir of strength. . . . Return. Above all, ONLY ENTER THE SCENE WHEN NECESSARY, AND WITH SOMEONES. This will enable witnesses to speak if when necessary. Have your home protected as much as possible.

Dr. and Mrs. Troup and a host of others sent their best regards and wishes to you but I did not think to pass it on to you.1


Call me or drop me a line to let me know how things are working out. I did not have much interest in Tabernacle before now, but I can say with truth that I am interested in the psatorate.2

Remember I shall ever pray for you during these crises days . . . and not for you only but all those faced with the momentous task!

[strikeout illegible]

Your pal,

1. McCall refers to Cornelius V. Troup, president of Fort Valley State College, and Katie Troup.

2. On 28 October 1955 McCall asked King to “use his influence in trying to get an appointment” at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Birmingham, but McCall remained at Fort Valley State College.

Source: DABCC-INP, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church Collection, In Private Hands.

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