Skip to content Skip to navigation

From Worth Littlejohn Barbour

Barbour, Worth Littlejohn
April 2, 1956
Minneapolis, Minn.
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Family
Montgomery Bus Boycott


In 1950 King had recommended Barbour, pastor of Minneapolis’s Bethesda Baptist Church and the son of J. Pius Barbour, for admission to Crozer.1 Barbour forwards several hundred dollars to the MIA from his church and congregation; his handwritten list of donors is not reprinted here.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
309 South Jackson Street
Montgomery, Alabama

Dear Mike:

Man never knows his destiny. It was almost inconceivable a few years ago that you, “Mike” King, would have been the chosen one to lead the redeemption of the Southland. The Un-finished Task is your lot.

I could spend much time elaborating the whole Mission, but I, like my father, believe in “less words and more deeds.” Therefore, enclosed is $264.68 (two hundred and sixty-four dollars and sixty-eight cents) for the Association. Our church is small Mike, but tried our best and believe me the people here, white and black, in Minnesota {are} prayerfully concerned about the whole issue. If you need more, don’t fail to call on us.

How is the baby? Like you, God forbid, more like beautiful Coretta is my hope. How is Coretta, and how is she facing the situation? Without her, you couldn’t make it Mike. Give my best regards to her.

Incidentally, McCall and I both were candidates for Chuck Boddie’s church in Rochester.2 I hope it’s his call; for Mc really wants to be a pastor and I think he would fit in that church very nicely.

Well, write a LONG letter when you find the time and continue to pray to stay in God’s grace. We will pray with and for you Mike.

Sincerely yours,
[signed] Littlejohn
Worth Littlejohn Barbour

1. King to Charles E. Batten, 30 October 1950, in Papers 1:333. Worth Littlejohn Barbour (1929-), born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, received his B.A. (1951) from Shaw University and his B.D. (1954) from Crozer Theological Seminary. Barbour later worked as a lecturer, social worker, and NAACP field representative before pursuing a career as an equal employment opportunity specialist in Colorado.

2. Neither Walter R. McCall, King’s Morehouse and Crozer classmate, nor Barbour succeeded Charles Emerson Boddie as pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Rochester, New York.


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