On 16 February Gray, a prominent religious leader and family friend, inquired about preaching at Dexter on 11 March if King thought “that a northern Yankee like me could have a message for your courageous people in Montgomery.” Because Kelly Miller Smith was already scheduled to preach that day, King arranges for Gray to preach at Ralph Abernathy’s church. On 27 February Gray appealed to fellow members of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Philadelphia to support the boycott, securing contributions of over $1,500 for the MIA.1
Dr. William H. Gray, Pastor
Bright Hope Baptist Church
Twelfth and Oxford Street
Philadelphia 2, Pennsylvania
Dear Dr. Gray:
I have made arrangements for you to preach at the First Baptist Church on Sunday morning, March 11. As you know, the church is pastored by the Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy. I am sure that Montgomery will be expecting you with great anticipation. Please let me know when you will be arriving.
With every good wish, I am
M. L. King, Jr.
1. See Gray to King, 29 February 1956.
DABCC-INP, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church Collection, In Private Hands.