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MLK Draft Notes: Worship

Dr. King preached this sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist church on August 7, 1955. In this handwritten outline, Dr. King focuses on the practice of worship, claiming that it is an intrinsic part of human culture. After outlining a negative definition of worship, he approaches it from a "positive angle," describing a multitude of experiences he deems worshipful. Ultimately, he asserts that worship is useful on both a private and public level as it "helps us to transcend the hurly-burly of everyday life."

Fleeing From God

This sermon, delivered by Dr. King on April 4, 1956, discusses the human desire to escape God. Dr. King attributes this inclination to the fact that man wants to hide from God's immanent nature and harbors a general unwillingness to follow God's commandments.

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.

Transformed Nonconformists Sermon Outline

In this brief outline for a sermon based on Romans 12:2, Dr. King asserts that Christians are citizens of two worlds, those of time and eternity. They are in the world, but not of it. In a generation of the mass mind, they are called to live differently – to make history not be made by history. But nonconformity in itself is not good; there must be a mental transformation. The world is on the brink of moral and physical destruction and the need of the hour is for nonconformists to materialism, nationalism and militarism.

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.

The Eternality of God Verses The Temporality of Man

This document is an outline of the sermon titled "The Eternality of God Versus the Temporality of Man." In the first two sections, Dr. King contrasts the time-conditioned nature of man with God, who transcends time. The final portion highlights a significant fact that God is absolute and unchangeable.

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.

The Birth of a New Nation

GHANA, Alabama (AL)

Dr. King compares the ongoing civil rights struggle in the United States to the Hebrews' Exodus from Egypt.

Questions Which Easter Answers

Dr. King writes a sermon entitled, "Questions Which Easter Answers." King asserts that while many people attend church on Easter because of its value as it relates to Christ, the true significance in Easter is in the fact that is makes one think of immortality; as symbolized in Jesus Christ.

Manichaeism

Dr. King describes Manichaeism, a religion and philosophical doctrine that originated in Persia.

I Sat Where They Sat Sermon Outline

This sermon draft of Dr. King's was never delivered, but focuses on the Christian themes of empathy and understanding. Dr. King claims that "if the white man was closer to the Negro he would... ...understand them" better.

Dr. King Sermon Rough Draft - "Man Incurably Religious"

The document, shown here, is a rough draft of sermon notes, prepared by Dr. King, under the title "Man Incurably Religious." The exact timeframe, of this sermon draft, is unknown. Dr. King, in this draft, puts the spotlight on examples such as a baby's attachment to a mother, a flower's direction toward the sun and the flight pattern of a pigeon. He used a quotation of St. Augustine that said, "We come forth from God and we shall be homesick until we return to him."

Dr. King Outlines "If"

Dr. King expounds on the subject "if." He proclaims the word to be primary in the English language.

Religion (Definition)

Dr. King quotes John M. E. McTaggart's "Some Dogmas of Religion."

Transition Period

Dr. King quotes an unknown source that links the transition period to Alfred North Whitehead’s rejection of his earlier view about science and philosophy.

Monotheism

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

Outline of Our God is Able

Dr. King outlines his sermon, "Our God is Able." He plans to explain the good and evil in humanity and ensures his audience that through all, "Our God is Able."

"Discerning the Signs of History"

Sunday, November 15, 1964
Atlanta, GA

Dr. King believes that there are lessons in understanding the process of history, that evil carries the seed of destruction and that militarism is ultimately suicidal. Dr. King states that "history teaches the lesson that all reality hinges on moral foundations."

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

Montgomery, AL

This sermon is one draft of Dr. King's "Three Dimensions of a Complete Life." It was first delivered by Dr. King to the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
Another version is entitled, "The Dimensions of a Complete Life." The first dimension is concerned with the well-being of the self. The second dimension is concerned with the well-being of others. The last dimension is concerned with reaching towards God.
As Dr. King implies, if all of these dimensions are equal, then a complete life will be obtained.

Outline of Sincerity Is Not Enough

This partial sermon outline in Dr. King's handwriting focuses on the subject "Sincerity Is Not Enough", based on the text Romans 10:2.

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.

A Religion of Doing

Alabama (AL)

Dr. King delivered this sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on July 4, 1954. In the sermon, Dr. King asserts the importance of active religion over passive theoretical practice. Citing the Book of Matthew, he maintains that belief and action must be united, as action is the crux of true religion. He proclaims that the church has to be a passage of the "dynamic force" that encourages action of its members.

Optimism

Dr. King quotes F. S. Marvin's "The Living Past."

The Meaning of Hope

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Washington, D.C., Alabama (AL), GREECE, TURKEY, Mississippi (MS), Cleveland, OH, Chicago, IL, CYPRUS, VIETNAM, NIGERIA

Dr. King delivered this sermon while pastoring Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In spite of the existence of racial injustice in America, Dr. King maintains hope for equality, and reminds the church of their responsibility to "keep the flame of hope burning."

Right & Wrong

Dr. King quotes James Martineau’s “Types of Ethical Theory, Volume II.”

Paul's Letter to American Christians

FRANCE, New York, NY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Dr. King writes an imaginary letter to modern day Christians from the perspective of the apostle Paul. In the letter, Paul praises his listeners for their technological advancements, yet reprimands them for their spiritual degradation. He encourages them to uphold Christian values despite outside factors.

Eulogy for Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Victims

Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL

This is Dr. King?s eulogy for three of the four young girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. God gives man the right to exercise good and evil, King says, but God wills that everything will happen for the good ? that out of tragedy comes redemption. Martyred in the struggle for freedom, the girls have become symbols of the crusade and of the faith that sustains it. King speaks of forgiving those who murdered the girls and the need to transform the system, the way of life, and the philosophy that led to the bombing.

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.

Why the Christian Must Oppose Segregation

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

What Is Man?

This is one of several documents where Dr. King explores the nature of "man." He considers the question "what is man?" to be a timeless concept that "confronts any generation." Dr. King's analysis incorporates Biblical and Shakespearean texts, among other notable references.