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 A Tribute to . . .

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

DPS celebrates the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rev. Dr. King was one of the greatest ministers in history. We celebrate his life,  his radical commitment to God's calling to a ministry of justice and peace, and his great achievements in the civil rights movement in the USA and around the globe.   He was also one of the most inspiring preachers ever!


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A Tribute to Dr. King
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Prayer by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everlasting God, you gave us the faith of Christ for a light to our feet amid the darkness of this world. Grant us grace to fulfill and mercy when we fail these words of our brother in Christ, Martin Luther King, which we lift to you in prayer:

"If I can help somebody as I pass along;

If I can cheer somebody with a word or song;

If I can show somebody hes traveling wrong;

then my living will not be in vain.

If I can do my duty as a Christian ought;

If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought;

If I can spread the message as the Master taught;

then my living will not be in vain.

Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world." Amen.

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Creative DPS Resources for MLK Day (Free downloads)

Free Preaching/Teaching Web Resources:

"Love Your Enemy"--One of Martin Luther King's most powerful sermons

Love Your Enemies, No Exceptions, by Dr. Ray Pritchard on Martin Luther King, Jr. commitment to love.

"I Have a Dream" Address--His most famous speech; read it for the first time or once again.

"The Word that Moves: The Preaching of Martin Luther King, Jr.," article by Richard Lischer in Theology Today, 1989

."Martin Luther King Jr., Black Theology - Black Church," James H. Cone, Theology Today, 1984.

In His Voice--audio excerpts from King's most famous speeches


Lifeline of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1929 January 15. Michael Luther King Jr., later renamed Martin, born to schoolteacher Alberta King and Baptist minister Michael Luther King. Boyhood in Sweet Auburn district.
1948 King graduates from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. with a B.A.
1951 Graduates with a B.D. from Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pa.
1953 June 18. King marries Coretta Scott in Marion, Ala.. They will have four children: Yolanda Denise (b.1955), Martin Luther King III (b.1957), Dexter (b.1961), Bernice Albertine (b.1963).
1954 September. King moves to Montgomery, Ala. to preach at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
1955 After coursework at New England colleges, King finishes his Ph. D. in systematic theology.
1956 January 26. King is arrested for driving 30 m.p.h. in a 25 m.p.h. zone.
January 30. King's house bombed.
1957 January. Black ministers form what became known as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King is named first president one month later.
In this typical year of demonstrations, King traveled 780,000 miles and made 208 speeches.
1958 King's first book published, Stride Toward Freedom  (Harper), his recollections of the Montgomery bus boycott. While King is promoting his book in a Harlem book store, an African American woman stabs him.
1959 King visits India. He had a lifelong admiration for Mohandas K. Gandhi, and credited Gandhi's passive resistance techniques for his civil-rights successes.
1960 King leaves for Atlanta to pastor his father's church, Ebenezer Baptist Church.
1962 King meets with President John F. Kennedy to urge support for civil rights.
1963 King leads protests in Birmingham for desegregated department store facilities, and fair hiring.
April. Arrested after demonstrating in defiance of a court order, King writes "Letter From Birmingham Jail." This eloquent letter, later widely circulated, became a classic of the civil-rights movement.
August 28. 250,000 civil-rights supporters attended the March on Washington. At the Lincoln Memorial, King delivers the famous "I have a dream" speech.
1964 King's book published: Why We Can't Wait .
King visits with West Berlin Mayor Willy Brant and Pope Paul VI.
December 10. King wins Nobel Peace Prize.
1965 January 18. King successfully registers to vote at the Hotel Albert in Selma, Ala. and is assaulted by James George Robinson of Birmingham.
February. King continues to protest discrimination in voter registration, is arrested and jailed. Meets with President Lyndon B. Johnson Feb. 9 and other American leaders about voting rights for African Americans.
March 16-21. King and 3,200 people march from Selma to Montgomery.
1968 April 4. King is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. by James Earl Ray.
1986 January 20 is the first national celebration of King's birthday as a holiday.