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"Sermons"

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.

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.

Dr. King Sermon Outline

The document, shown here, contains an outline for a sermon given by Dr. King. The sermon was entitled, "The Fellow Who Stayed at Home." According, to the outline, Dr. King breaks down two types of sin: Sins of Passion and Sins of Disposition.

MLK Sermon Notes

Dr. King writes notes regarding the story of Jesus and the healing of the paralytic. Jesus asked the crippled man, "will thou be made whole?" Dr. King states that some people are happy to be crippled because they lack the responsibilities of life that a healthy man has, and many people cater to their needs, but cautions against this attitude.

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.

Levels of Love

Sunday, May 21, 1967
Atlanta, GA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, CHINA, FRANCE

Dr. King describes five levels of love, from lowest to highest: utilitarian love, friendship, romantic love, humanitarian love, and agape. The last he refers to as Christian love, the love of God operating in the human heart. The first four, he states, are love for one’s own sake. The fifth is love for another person for their sake. This sermon was delivered by Dr. King on May 21, 1967 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sermon Notes on Character

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

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.

Sermon Outline Notes - MLK

This document is an outline handwritten by Dr. King, who frequently wrote such outlines as a precursor to a sermon. The topic centers on man's talent and his reasons for using--or more importantly, not using--that talent.

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.

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.

Nature of Religion

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

God

Dr. King describes the power of God.

Loving Your Enemies

Sunday, November 10, 1957
Washington, D.C., Montgomery, AL

In this sermon, Dr. King states that "love is the key to the solution of the problems which we confront in the world today." Dr. King notes that this is not a simple task, but it is necessary.

God

Dr. King expresses the power of God as being infinite beyond comprehension of man.

A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart

GHANA, ISRAEL

Dr. King uses Matthew 10:16 as the text for this sermon delivered August 30, 1959 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. Soft mindedness, he asserts, makes men gullible, superstitious, and fearful of change and fosters the belief that science and religion are in conflict. It contributes to racial prejudice and is capitalized upon by dictators. But tough mindedness, King says, must be tempered by a compassionate heart. The nonviolent struggle for freedom and justice must combine tough mindedness and tenderness of heart.

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.

God (Dewey)

According to Dr. King's understanding of Dewey's interpretation, God is the connection between the ideal and the actual.

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.

Our God is Able

Sunday, January 4, 1953
Boston, MA

Reverend Frederick M. Meek retells a story in the New Testament about a civilization and their journey to discover that God is able.

Excerpt from The Drum Major Instinct

This passage quotes one of Dr. King's acclaimed sermons delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He defines the desire to lead as "the Drum Major instinct." Seeing himself as a Drum Major for justice, peace, and righteousness, Dr. King posits what should be said at his funeral.

MLK Sermon Outline

Dr. King's sermon outline references the Biblical text in Ezekiel 22:30.

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."

MLK Sermon Notes

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

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.

Note Cards on God

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

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.

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.

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.