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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. .

We Would See Jesus

Sunday, May 7, 1967
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, GREECE

Dr. King gives this sermon to a congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He conveys a message of Christ's acceptance of all despite any person's wrong doings in the past. He also points out that Christ's work is exemplified through individual acts of kindness and helping others.

Who Are We?

Saturday, February 5, 1966
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, New York (NY), New York, NY, Illinois (IL), Chicago, IL, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Washington, D.C., Florida (FL), Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL, VIETNAM

In this sermon Dr. King contemplates "who are we?" and "what is man?". He differentiates between the pessimistic attitudes of the materialistic understandings of man and the optimistic attitudes of humanistic definitions of man. King also states that man is neither all good nor all bad, but a combination. Man is both an everlasting miracle and mystery.

"The Drum Major Instinct" Ebenezer Baptist Church

Sunday, February 4, 1968
Atlanta, GA

The Drum Major Instinct, a sermon delivered by Dr. King at the Atlanta Ebenezer Baptist Church, frames the “instinct” as being responsible for the social ills of the world. Dr. King proclaims that racial inequality in America and the war in Vietnam are the result of nations engaging in a “bitter colossal contest for supremacy.” He suggests that the only way to end this “suicidal thrust” is to abide by an altered definition of the instinct – the definition of Jesus Christ.

Success and Failure Sermon Outline

"Success and Failure" is the title of a sermon given by Dr. King. The handwritten outline, shown here, referenced Philippians 3:13 as the passage of scripture. The date and location, of which this sermon was delivered is unknown.

Tribute to Jimmy Lee Jackson

Friday, February 26, 1965
Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL

Dr. King edits a draft of a eulogy he wrote in the wake of four girls killed in a bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. King applauded these martyrs, for their brief yet powerful appearance on this Earth and their contribution to the "holy crusade for freedom and human dignity." Reiterating these sentiments, Dr. King edits the eulogy to fit the life story of Jimmy Lee Jackson.

The Tension Between Life's Palm Sunday and Life's Good Friday

Dr. King delivered this sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church in April of 1960. In this sermon he discussed two days of prime importance in the life of Jesus namely Palm Sunday, "the moment of fulfillment" and Good Friday, the day of his crucifixion.

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.

Our God is Able

Montgomery, AL, Alabama (AL)

This is a chapter draft of the sermon for Dr. King’s book Strength to Love. Using Jude 1:24 as his text, Dr. King expounds on his belief that there is a God of power that is able to sustain the universe, conquer the evils of history, and give us the interior resources to face the trials of life. He speaks of his own experience of turning to God when he was exhausted and overcome with fear after a telephone death threat. His inner peace restored, he was able calmly to accept the news three days later that his home had been bombed.

Facing the Challenge of a New Life

EGYPT, GREECE, CHINA, FRANCE, INDIA, PAKISTAN, Montgomery, AL

Dr. King uses Greek Philosophy, the Christian conception of agape love, and the need for nonviolent resistance as a guideline of "Facing the Challenge of a New Life" in America. Throughout the sermon, he encourages African Americans to remain committed to the nonviolent principles of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the precepts of Christian living to facilitate the birth of a new way of life in an America dealing with violent conflicts over social conditions.

Original Sin

Dr. King writes a definition of original sin.

Sermon Notes on Character

This document contains Dr. King's notes on character.

On Being a Good Neighbor

Dr. King tells the Biblical story of the "Good Samaritan on the Road to Jericho," in which a traveler has been robbed, beaten and left for dead. Dr. King connects this story to the Declaration of Independence and offers an analysis of the modern era. Following the example of the "Good Samaritan," he encourages looking beyond "race, religion and nationality" to help those wounded by injustices.

Handwritten Notecard about Peace

On this notecard, Dr. King outlines J Maritain's views on Peace, from the book Christianity and Democracy.

MLK Sermon Outline

Dr. King prepares an Easter sermon entitled "Why Death Could Not Hold Him." He references scripture passage Acts 2: 24. The date and place of delivery for this sermon is unknown.

Transformed Nonconformist

In this draft of the "Transformed Nonconformist", Dr. King urges the abandonment of societal practices of injustice.

MLK Sermon: The Dimensions of A Complete Life

Sunday, April 19, 1959
Montgomery, AL, GREECE, JORDAN, INDIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

In this sermon given at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Dr. King details the three dimensions of a complete life: length, breadth, and height.

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.

The Answer to a Perplexing Question

ISRAEL

"Why Could Not We Cast Him Out?" is a chapter in Dr. King's book "Strength to Love." In this chapter, Dr. King discusses the methods in which man attempts to deal with evil in the world. Two methodologies are distinguished. The first concerns man's independent attempt to remove evil and the second stems from man's ideology of making God solely responsible for eliminating evil. Dr. King concludes that neither method is successful and that man has to find a medium between the two.

Radio Sermons Listing

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

A Tough Mind and A Tender Heart

This outline to Dr. King's sermon "A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart" focuses on the premise that being a tough minded individual involves making critical decisions. The sermon emphasizes that those who possess a soft mind tend to be gullible and strictly follow the status quo. According to Dr. King, "We must come to the realization that life demands a tough mind."

"A Knock At Midnight"

Sunday, August 9, 1964
New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), Washington, D.C., New York, NY, Mississippi (MS), FORMER SOVIET UNION / USSR, Montgomery, AL

This is a draft of the sermon Dr. King wrote comparing a story from the Bible in St. Luke to the struggle to obtain equality and civil rights.

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.

Paul's Letter to American Christians

Sunday, November 4, 1956
Montgomery, AL, FRANCE, New York, NY, ISRAEL

Dr. King shares "Paul's Letter to American Christians" with the congregation of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In this contemporary letter revised by Dr. King, Apostle Paul writes concerning the "responsibilities of Americans to live as Christians." He discusses his appreciation for America, the danger of capitalism, communism, segregation in churches, and the many denominations of Protestantism. But above all things, Apostle Paul believes that love is the most "durable power in the world."

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.

A Christian Movement in a Revolutionary Age

Tuesday, September 28, 1965
New York (NY), Alabama (AL), Selma, AL, Mississippi (MS), Massachusetts (MA), Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, California, Illinois (IL), Chicago, IL, VIETNAM, CONGO / ZAIRE

In this address, Dr. King fuses the philosophies in the Old and New Testament regarding revolutionary social change. He argues that the most creative and constructive revolutionary force for change is one that combines the Old Testament’s “righteousness and justice that flow down like a mighty stream” with the New Testament’s call to love one’s enemies and bless those who persecute you. He asserts that God has been working actively since the time of Moses for the freedom and perfection of people and society. Dr.

God is Light

Dr. King prepares a sermon entitled, "God is Light." He refers to I John 1:5 during his preparation.

Outline for The Secret of Adjustment

In this sermon, Dr. King notes applicable methods used to deal with the tensions in life. It is said that "the secret to adjustment is to find contentment." King further references the experience of the Apostle Paul and what he learned in confronting this problem.

Our God is Able

In this chapter from "Strength to Love,"Dr. King proclaims that God is able to do anything. He asserts that while man's intellect and natural disasters may cause us to question God, He is omnipotent.

Faith As A Way of Knowing (Wieman)

Dr. King cites Henry Nelson Wieman's "The Source of Human Good" on faith as a way of knowing.