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"Sermons"

The Ultimate Doom of Evil

These sermon notes outline the inevitable fall of evil. Dr. King uses the work of influential American historian, Charles A. Beard to prove this claim. "A graphic example of this truth" is found in ancient proverbs that Dr. King aims to examine in detail.

Nature of Religion

Dr. King indicates Schleiermacher's view on the nature of religion.

Sermon on Conformity Thought "Nonconformist - J. Bond"

Sunday, January 16, 1966
VIETNAM, FRANCE

Dr. King in this sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church speaks to his congregation on the topic of disent. He expresses in detail about how we essentially must not conform to standards set by society.

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.

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.

Shattered Dreams and Unfulfilled Hopes

SPAIN

Dr. King based this sermon on unfulfilled hopes and dreams. He focused on the story of the Apostle Paul and his wish to journey to Spain. Paul did eventually go to Spain but "as a prisoner and not as a free man." Dr. King told his congregation that they all faced unfulfilled dreams at some point in their lives.

Sermon Notes on Character

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

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.

MLK Draft: Man's Extensions

Boston, MA, California (CA), New York, NY, CHINA

Dr. King describes how man has invented tools to extend his knowledge: the telescope for his eyes, the microphone and radio for his ears, and the airplane and automobile for his legs.

Sermon Introductions by MLK

Dr. King frames a series of introductions to sermons that includes such selections as Civilization's Great Need, Life Is What You Make It, and Why Religion?

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.

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.

Secrets of Married Happiness

Los Angeles, CA

Dr. King writes notes regarding the way to a successful marriage. King asserts that in order to have a happy marriage, husband and wife must communicate and get to know one another's similarities and differences. It is also important to engage in mutual compromise.

Manichaeism

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

B. Clifton Reardon Recap of William Temple

London, England, New York (NY)

This is an essay written by B. Clifton Reardon on William Temple, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Temple was one of the founding members of the Council of Christians and Jews.

Loving Your Enemies

Sunday, November 17, 1957
Chattanooga, TN, Tennessee (TN), Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), Montgomery, AL, Alabama (AL), RUSSIAN FEDERATION, GREECE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Washington, D.C.

Dr. King interprets Jesus' command to "love your enemies" and outlines how to accomplish this goal. He closes this sermon by relating the philosophy of love to the use of nonviolence as a means to overcome oppression.

Religion (Definition)

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

Mastering Ourselves

"Mastering Ourselves" is Dr. King's exploration of the inner struggle for good and evil that occurs within every human's experience. Dr. King asserts that this "dualism" can sometimes cause good people to do bad things and bad people to do good things. According to Dr. King, this can only be overcome through identifying and replacing one's own weaknesses. He also suggests finding a profitable way to use leisure time coupled with a devotional life and continuous prayer.

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

Sunday, April 9, 1967
Chicago, IL, Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL, Georgia (GA)

Dr. King discusses the primary three dimensions of life, which include: length, breadth, and height.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

Sermon Notes: Christianity Explored

Dr. King discusses the various concepts of the religious body of Christianity. He specifically highlights the Christian perspective in relation to life, the Kingdom of God on Earth, and Jesus Christ.

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.

The False God of Money

Sunday, July 19, 1953

This sermon titled "The False God of Money" was preached by Dr. King on July 19, 1953. Dr. King raised a question to his congregation stating, "Will you serve the transitory god of money which is here today and gone tomorrow or will you serve the eternal God of the universe who is the same yesterday, today and forever?"

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.