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"Sermons"

The Eternal Significance of Christ

Dr. King outlines a sermon and references the Book of 2 Corinthians. The passage states "It is impossible to understand the significance of Christ without understanding the whole history of Biblical religion."

Predestination

Dr. King defines predestination.

Is It Wrong to Segregate?

Sunday, June 5, 1960
Atlanta, GA, Illinois (IL), ETHIOPIA, Texas (TX), CUBA

This Sermon titled "Is It Wrong to Segregate?" was delivered by the Reverend A. L. Kendrick on June 5, 1960. He expounds on several topics including equal rights, communism and the political element of the government.

Outline for Why Does History Move?

Dr. King's sermon outline references Hegel and Marx in relation to questions surrounding the concept of history.

What Shall We Do to Be Saved

This is an outline for a sermon given by Dr. King, entitled, "What Shall We Do To Be Saved?" It includes an intended introduction. The date and location for which this sermon was delivered is unknown.

The Drum Major Instinct Sermon Outline

Monday, February 5, 1968

Dr. King outlines on scraps of paper his great sermon based on Mark 10:37. Everyone wants to be first, to get attention, he says, starting with our first cry as a baby. Adults want to do good and be praised. If the drum major instinct is not harnessed, the personality is distorted and we become boastful, gossip, put others down. On a societal level, this leads to exclusive social groups, racial prejudice and war. King states that Jesus’ answer is to dedicate this great force to worthy ends – goodness, moral excellence, generosity, kindness and service. .

The Second Sunday After Easter

Sunday, April 28, 1968

The preacher begins by reminding the audience about various forms of evil, the church's mission to help humans obtain heavenly rights and other topics from the previous week's sermon. After recapping last Sunday's sermon, the preacher uses the Word of God to answer the question, "How should Christians react to the afflictions they suffer in the world?" The three answers to this question are broken up into three different sections and explained in depth by the speaker.

Why the Christian Must Oppose Segregation

This draft examines segregation and the reason Dr. King deems it his responsibility to discuss the matter.

Moving to Another Mountain

Connecticut (CT), EGYPT, Massachusetts (MA), Alabama (AL), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, JORDAN

Wesleyan University publishes an edited transcript of a speech given by Dr. King in 1964. The publication is made in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination.

Tribute to Dr. King by Rev. Joseph L. Roberts

Friday, April 5, 1968
Detroit, MI

In this document, Rev. Joseph L. Roberts, Presiding Elder for the West Detroit District of the AME church, delivered this profound tribute to Dr. King, the day after his assassination.

Transformed Noncomformist

Friday, November 1, 1957

Dr. King delivered this sermon in November 1957 while serving as the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. In the sermon, Dr. King discusses the Christian dilemma of being "a citizen of two worlds: the world of time and the world of eternity." He situates the experience of black people in America within this dichotomy, and asserts that Christians must not conform to the world of mass opinion when it lacks Christian virtue, but must assume nonconformity.

Monotheism

Dr. King cites passages in the sixth century BCE Second Isaiah (chapters 40-55) as the first clear evidence of monotheism.

Guidelines for a Constructive Church

Sunday, June 5, 1966
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, Alabama (AL)

In this sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Dr. King spells out guidelines for the church: healing the broken-hearted, preaching deliverance to the captive (freeing people from everything that enslaves), and preaching the acceptable year of the Lord. The acceptable year of the Lord, he says, is every year the time is right to do right, stop lying and cheating, do justice, learn to live as brothers and beat swords into plowshares.

Making the Best of A Bad Mess

Sunday, April 24, 1966
Atlanta, GA

This text of Dr. King's "Making the Best of a Bad Mess" sermon encourages the congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church to remain faithful in times of destitution. He makes clear the point that happiness is not found, but is instead created.

A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart

New York, NY, EGYPT, ISRAEL

"A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart" by Dr. King discusses the importance of creating a synthesis of opposites and characteristics of one engaged in shrewd thinking with a loving spirit.

Radio Sermons Listing

Under the title "Radio Sermons," is a listing of sermon titles and dates given by Dr. King.

Love in Action

GREECE, ISRAEL

Dr. King expounds on the love of God by referencing a verse from the Bible in the Book of Luke. The verse states, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Dr. King notes the truth of this verse is also revealed in race relation of today.

Who is Truly Great

Dr. King addresses the subject of individual greatness within society and how to truly go about achieving such a status. He begins by dispelling common signifiers of greatness before indicating that greatness can only be substantively measured through the ability to put others before self. Dr. King cites the life of Jesus Christ as an example of humility culminating into greatness.

New Wine in Old Bottles

Sunday, January 2, 1966
Atlanta, GA

In a New Year's sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr. King addresses Matthew 9:17. His explains that new ideas or inspiration cannot thrive in closed minds or old structures, such as the idea of equality in a segregated society. While Victor Hugo's "idea whose time has come" may be here, Dr. King says, we need to "help time" and overcome the initial resistance to new ideas with persistence and a transformation of the old structures.

Paul's Letter to American Christians

FRANCE, New York (NY)

This is a sermon chapter and possible draft for Dr. King's book "Strength to Love." Dr. King writes from the perspective of Paul the Apostle. Through the words of King, Paul speaks to modern day American Christians and challenges them to uphold true Christian values. Paul notes the presence of economic, scientific, and technological development, yet questions the contradiction of social injustices in a society that seems so advanced.

MLK's Sermon Notes

Dr. King composed these notes in preparation for a sermon. The themes include faith, man's dealing with crisis, and "God's Search for Man."

Symbolic Mountains

New York, NY, New York (NY)

On the stationary of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, Dr. King outlines a sermon entitled "Symbolic Mountains." These include the mountains of ethical relations, practical materialism, indifference concerning poverty, and racial segregation.

Interruptions: Man from Porlock

Sunday, January 21, 1968

Dr. King delivered this sermon, "Interruptions," on January 21, 1968 at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He describes how no one lives a life free of interruptions, and that the major problem of life is learning how to handle them.

Unity

These notes, prepared by Dr. King, were for a sermon entitled "Unity." This sermon, believed to be composed during the time of 1948-1954, was never delivered.

If I Can Help Somebody

These are the words to a song written in 1945 by Alma Bazel Androzzo that was made famous by gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. Dr. King quotes this song in his Drum Major Instinct sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 4, 1968.

A Knock At Midnight

Sunday, August 9, 1964
Atlanta, GA, New York (NY), New York, NY, New Jersey (NJ), Mississippi (MS), Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL

In a tape-recorded address to the Riverside Church in New York City, Dr. King compares the civil rights struggle to a parable from St. Luke. His sermon specifically tackles contemporary social issues such as segregation, discrimination, and the philosophy of nonviolence. In addition, Dr. King explores the role of the church in dealing with such problems.

It's Hard to Be a Christian

Dr. King outlines his sermon entitled "It's Hard to Be a Christian." King asserts that in order for one to be a fully committed Christian he or she must subordinate their ego and prioritize their concern for God's kingdom.

Opportunity, Fidelity, and Reward

Friday, January 1, 1954
Alabama (AL)

This handwritten outline reflects a sermon delivered by Dr. King at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in January of 1954. The sermon is structured around "The Parable of the Talents" taken from Matthew 25:14-30. Dr. King highlights how the passage assures a "reward for faithfulness."

Note Cards on God

Dr. King's writes on the possibility of finding God from the First Book of Chronicles.

Beyond Condemnation

Dr. King outlines a sermon entitled "Beyond Condemnation." He references the biblical story about a woman condemned to death by the Pharisees for adultery. Jesus commands "the person without sin to cast the first stone" as a lesson that all sins are equal and that no one should judge the flaws of others.