Smiley, who rode alongside Martin Luther King on Montgomery’s first desegregated bus, served as an advisor to King and the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) during the Montgomery bus boycott. A southern white minister and national field secretary of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), Smiley helped solidify King’s understanding of Gandhian nonviolence. After interviewing King during the first few months of the boycott, Smiley wrote a colleague: “I believe that God has called Martin Luther King to lead a great movement here, and in the South. But why does God lay such a burden on one so young, so inexperienced, so good? King can be a Negro Gandhi, or he can be made into an unfortunate demagogue destined to swing from a lynch mob’s tree” (Smiley, 28 February 1956).