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"Sermons"

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.

Remember Who You Are!

Thursday, December 6, 1956
Washington, D.C., Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL, New York (NY), New York, NY, Atlanta, GA

Dr. King addresses the student body and officials of Howard University with a poignant sermon entitled, "Remember Who You Are." The content of the sermon makes various references between Jesus, Shakespeare and Greek philosophers who sought to identify the mechanisms that made man important to society.

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.

A Tough Mind and A Tender Heart

Sunday, August 30, 1959
Montgomery, AL, Alabama (AL)

An early foreshadowing of his nonviolent philosophy, Dr. King advises Negroes of a particular course of action they should adhere to in order to properly equip themselves to combat racial injustice. Seeking to avoid both complacency and hostility, he challenges those who desire self-satisfaction, as well as those who seek to pacify their oppressors, by proposing the idea of one having both a tough mind and a tender heart.

Love

Dr. King quotes Tertullian on the subject of love from “Adversus Marcionem.”

A Christmas Sermon

Sunday, December 24, 1967
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INDIA, GERMANY, VIETNAM, Washington, D.C., Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Mississippi (MS)

Dr. King discusses the topics of peace, the state of mankind, and his vision for the future during the delivery of this sermon to the congregation of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Why the Christian Must Oppose Segregation

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

Transformed Nonconformist

Sunday, January 16, 1966
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, FRANCE, CHINA, North Carolina (NC), GERMANY, VIETNAM

Dr. King discusses the importance of not conforming in a sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Dr. King thoroughly discusses the hardships and the benefits that come with being a transformed non-conformist.

"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.

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.

Sacrifice

Dr. King explains that Isaiah 1:11 means God can’t be appeased by sacrifice but demands righteous living.

The Significant Contributions of Jeremiah to Religious Thought

Pennsylvania (PA)

These handwritten notes appear to be a draft of the essay "The Significant Contributions of Jeremiah to Religious Thought." Dr. King wrote this for James Bennett Pritchard's class on the Old Testament at Crozer Theological Seminary. Circa September 14, 1948 - November 24, 1948. The actual essay is in the King Archive at Boston University's Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

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

Atlanta, GA

Dr. King summarizes a biblical passage from the Book of John, in which he describes "inquiring Greeks" from a rich heritage who came to Philip and made the simple request, "sir, we would see Jesus." These words are also the title of one of Dr. King's sermons delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

MLK Sermon: Non-Conformist

Sunday, January 16, 1966
Atlanta, GA, VIETNAM, CHINA, FRANCE, Geneva, Switzerland, Birmingham, AL

Dr. King delivers this sermon at Ebenezer Baptist church in Atlanta, Georgia. He references the statement Representative Julian Bond made regarding the Vietnam War and discusses the responsibility of Christians to be morally noble instead of socially respectable. He references multiple biblical figures and explains the importance of not conforming to society.

Shattered Dreams

SPAIN, INDIA, PAKISTAN, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Atlanta, GA, Florida (FL), Washington, D.C., New York, NY, New York (NY), London, England, ITALY

In a sermon entitled "Shattered Dreams", Dr. King opens with a passage from Romans 15:24. The Reverend continues with the expansion of hopes and the contrast of shattered dreams. Delivering this message from a theological vantage point, Dr. King closes with "Christian faith makes it possible for us nobly to accept that which cannot be changed, to meet disappointments and sorrow with an inner poise..."

God

Dr. King records a portion of Carl Jung's argument that God is a function of the unconscious.

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.

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.

MLK Sermon About Courage and Cowardice

The document is a single draft page from Dr. King's larger work "Strength to Love," with annotations handwritten by Dr. King. On this page, he discusses courage and self-affirmation.

Antidotes For Fear

MEXICO, Montgomery, AL

Dr. King uses this sermon to discuss the causation of human fears while identifying four ways in which these shortcomings can be combated. He does not promote the eradication of all human fears, for some are essential to creation and innovation. However, Dr. King encourages the elimination of unfounded fears as a method to overcome adversities that are experienced in life.

MLK Sermon Notes

Dr. King examines the contradictions in human nature in this handwritten draft of a sermon.

Answer to a Perplexing Question

Sunday, March 3, 1963
Atlanta, GA, South Africa, ISRAEL

Dr. King preaches about faith, based on Matthew 17:14-20, and applies it to the Civil Rights Movement. He defines faith as cooperating with God by surrendering to God's will so that His strength may act freely through us. He asserts that faith, intellect, and work must blend together.

Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam

Sunday, April 30, 1967
New York, NY, CHINA, Geneva, Switzerland, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, GUATEMALA, PERU, MEXICO

"Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" is a sermon Dr. King delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967 in Atlanta. In this draft of the sermon, Dr. King references a previous speech, "Beyond Vietnam," that he delivered to the group "Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam" at Riverside Baptist Church in New York City.

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.

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.

Monotheism

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

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.

The False God of Science

Sunday, July 5, 1953

In this manuscript the author addresses their belief on the validity of modern man making a god of science.

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.