Martin Luther King, Jr. - Career in Ministry
A week prior to delivering this sermon at his church, King had given a similar version at Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel in Washington, D. C., at the conclusion of Howard University School of Religion’s Forty-first Annual Convocation.1 Using Matthew 5:43-45 as his text, King emphasizes that “hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. . . . The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. . . .
The following sermon was the fourth in a series concerning the “Problems of Personality Integration.” The previous Sunday King preached “Factors That Determine Character,” which was preceded in the series by “Overcoming an Inferiority Complex” and “The Mastery of Fear.”1 In developing these sermons, King drew upon liberal clergyman Harry Emerson Fosdick’s On Being a Real Person. King made extensive notes in his personal copy of the book, and several of this sermon’s central themes and illustratio
With the boycott approaching its second month, King draws on two sermons by Frederick M. Meek to offer a message of hope to the people of Dexter.1 He reveals his own struggle in the midst of despair: “There are times that I get despondent, and wonder if it is worth it.
King is one of the most brilliant students we have had at Crozer. He has a keen mind which is both analytical and constructively creative. While interested in social action, he has a fine theological and philosophical basis on which to promulgate his ideas and activities. He is particularly interested in philosophy and has done fine work in it both at Crozer and at Penn. He is a real leader as evidenced by the confidence his fellow students have in him by electing him president of the student body.
In a November letter King invited local pastors and their congregations to the December institute marking the second anniversary of the MIA.
Following the death of the pastor at Atlanta’s West Hunter Baptist Church, Spear, a Philadelphia minister and longtime West Hunter member, asked King if he might be interested in filling the vacancy.1 King declines, reasoning that he has “certain advantages” as co-pastor at Ebenezer and recommends Abernathy for the job.2 Abernathy accepted the position at the church in August 1961 and moved to Atlanta the following November.
Building upon his Palm Sunday message Garden of Gethsemane, King contemplates the resurrection of Jesus in this Easter sermon. He mourns the unremitting savagery and hate in Montgomery and throughout the South: “Why is it, God?
In this Palm Sunday sermon, King declares, “You can stand up amid despair. You can stand up amid persecution. You can stand up amid disappointment. You can stand up even amid death. But you don’t worry because you know God is with you. You have made the transition. You have faced life’s central test.”1 Vowing to replicate Jesus’ obedience to God’s will, King cries, “Wherever He leads me, I will follow. I will follow Him to the garden.
On 27 June King thanked Bates and her husband, Lucius, for their hospitality during his May visit to speak at the Arkansas AM&N College commencement in Pine Bluff, and praised her efforts to “make Christians, real Christians and Americans, real Americans.” 1 In the following letter King invites Bates to serve as Dexter's Women's Day speaker on 12 October; she agreed on 3 July.
At the end of King’s final day as Dexter’s pastor, congregation members gathered in the sanctuary for a tribute and farewell. After an introductory statement from Board of Deacons vice chair William E. Anderson, church members performed a skit, “This is Your Life,” that included roles for King’s children and friends. His mother, sister, and brother traveled from Atlanta to surprise him and also participated in the sketch, which was modeled after the popular TV show of the same name.1