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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.

Dr. King Outlines "If"

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

Conditions for Entering the Kingdom

Dr. King opens these sermon notes by discussing a child's behavior and actions. According to King, "a child has the inexhaustible capacity to forgive" and is inquisitive, honest, and open-minded. These are characteristics that adults should possess, which would help them gain entry into the Kingdom.

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.

"Lost Sheep" or "The God of the Lost"

Sunday, September 18, 1966
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Massachusetts (MA), Boston, MA, California (CA), Los Angeles, CA, Alabama (AL), Selma, AL, Mississippi (MS), Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Dr. King delivers a sermon about the parable of the lost sheep from the book of Luke. In this sermon, Dr. King poses the question that has pondered mankind for ages, "What is God Like?" He declares, "God is like a good shepherd" caring for his sheep. Dr. King commends the good done in America, but compares the nation to "a lost sheep" for failing to maintain equality for all men. He summarizes by describing good as a process, that everyone is significant and God is seeking to find the lost.


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

Moving to Another Mountain

Connecticut (CT), EGYPT, Massachusetts (MA), Alabama (AL), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, JORDAN

Wesleyan University publishes an edited transcript of a speech given by Dr. King in 1964. The publication is made in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination.

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.


Dr. King discusses the weakness of "non theistic humanism."

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.

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.

Old Bull, The Great Violinist

Dr. King relates the mishap of a great violinist, during a concert, to the general act of overcoming obstacles in life.

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 notes that Samuel Alexander does not see God as creator but creature.


Dr. King quotes Nels Frederick Solomon Ferré on the subject of death from his book Evil and the Christian Faith.

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

GREECE, Virginia (VA), Georgia (GA), INDIA

Dr. King delivers a sermon that urges his listeners to search for their purpose in life. He requests that his younger listeners attend school and strive for higher education. He stresses to not let the color of their skin keep them from achieving their dreams.

The Answer to a Perplexing Question


"Why Could Not We Cast Him Out?" is a chapter in Dr. King's book "Strength to Love." In this chapter, Dr. King discusses the methods in which man attempts to deal with evil in the world. Two methodologies are distinguished. The first concerns man's independent attempt to remove evil and the second stems from man's ideology of making God solely responsible for eliminating evil. Dr. King concludes that neither method is successful and that man has to find a medium between the two.

MLK Sermon: Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam

Sunday, April 30, 1967
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, VIETNAM, New York (NY), New York, NY, CHINA, FORMER SOVIET UNION / USSR, Illinois (IL), Chicago, IL, Alabama (AL), Albany, GA, Birmingham, AL, Montgomery, AL, Selma, AL, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, FRANCE, JAPAN, SWITZERLAND, Geneva, Switzerland

Dr. King gives a sermon on why he does not support the war in Vietnam.

Our God is Able

Montgomery, AL, Alabama (AL)

This is a chapter draft of the sermon for Dr. King’s book Strength to Love. Using Jude 1:24 as his text, Dr. King expounds on his belief that there is a God of power that is able to sustain the universe, conquer the evils of history, and give us the interior resources to face the trials of life. He speaks of his own experience of turning to God when he was exhausted and overcome with fear after a telephone death threat. His inner peace restored, he was able calmly to accept the news three days later that his home had been bombed.


Dr. King quotes Isaiah 9:17, a passage from the Bible concerning sin.

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.

Who is Truly Great

Dr. King addresses the subject of individual greatness within society and how to truly go about achieving such a status. He begins by dispelling common signifiers of greatness before indicating that greatness can only be substantively measured through the ability to put others before self. Dr. King cites the life of Jesus Christ as an example of humility culminating into greatness.

A Tough Mind and A Tender Heart

This outline to Dr. King's sermon "A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart" focuses on the premise that being a tough minded individual involves making critical decisions. The sermon emphasizes that those who possess a soft mind tend to be gullible and strictly follow the status quo. According to Dr. King, "We must come to the realization that life demands a tough mind."

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.

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.

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.


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

Guidelines for a Constructive Church

Sunday, June 5, 1966
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, Alabama (AL)

In this sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Dr. King spells out guidelines for the church: healing the broken-hearted, preaching deliverance to the captive (freeing people from everything that enslaves), and preaching the acceptable year of the Lord. The acceptable year of the Lord, he says, is every year the time is right to do right, stop lying and cheating, do justice, learn to live as brothers and beat swords into plowshares.

The Dimensions of a Complete Life

Montgomery, AL

Dr. King begins this sermon with the story of John's first sight of the holy city of Jerusalem. He uses the story to emphasize "an eternal truth which we must forever recognize, and that is that life at its best and life as it should be is the life that is complete on all sides." This famous sermon had been drafted several times and also takes up the name "Three Dimensions of A Complete Life."

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."