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MLK Sermon Notes

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

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.

Symbolic Mountains

New York, NY, New York (NY)

On the stationary of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, Dr. King outlines a sermon entitled "Symbolic Mountains." These include the mountains of ethical relations, practical materialism, indifference concerning poverty, and racial segregation.

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.

Sermon Outline

This document outlines sermon notes and ideas. Dr. King references passages from the book of Luke. He also wonders what Christ did to give people hope when their desires had not been reached. King also discusses that Jesus conquers time, where as, human beings are victims of time.

The Mastery of Fear

This outline explains the direction of Dr. King's sermon entitled "The Mastery of Fear." In it, Dr. King explores the challenges and necessity of confronting fear.

Radio Sermons Listing

Under the title "Radio Sermons," is a listing of sermon titles and dates given by Dr. King.

Transformed Nonconformist

In this draft of the "Transformed Nonconformist", Dr. King urges the abandonment of societal practices of injustice.

MLK Draft Notes: Worship

Dr. King preached this sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist church on August 7, 1955. In this handwritten outline, Dr. King focuses on the practice of worship, claiming that it is an intrinsic part of human culture. After outlining a negative definition of worship, he approaches it from a "positive angle," describing a multitude of experiences he deems worshipful. Ultimately, he asserts that worship is useful on both a private and public level as it "helps us to transcend the hurly-burly of everyday life."

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.

Schleiermacher (The Religious Man)

Dr. King quotes Schleiermacher's views on man's identification with Religion.

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.

The Eternal Significance of Christ

Dr. King outlines a sermon and references the Book of 2 Corinthians. The passage states "It is impossible to understand the significance of Christ without understanding the whole history of Biblical religion."

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.

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

Montgomery, AL

This sermon is one draft of Dr. King's "Three Dimensions of a Complete Life." It was first delivered by Dr. King to the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
Another version is entitled, "The Dimensions of a Complete Life." The first dimension is concerned with the well-being of the self. The second dimension is concerned with the well-being of others. The last dimension is concerned with reaching towards God.
As Dr. King implies, if all of these dimensions are equal, then a complete life will be obtained.

Unity

These notes, prepared by Dr. King, were for a sermon entitled "Unity." This sermon, believed to be composed during the time of 1948-1954, was never delivered.

Nature of Religion

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

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.

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.

Sacrifice

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

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.

Facing the Challenge of a New Life

EGYPT, GREECE, CHINA, FRANCE, INDIA, PAKISTAN, Montgomery, AL

Dr. King uses Greek Philosophy, the Christian conception of agape love, and the need for nonviolent resistance as a guideline of "Facing the Challenge of a New Life" in America. Throughout the sermon, he encourages African Americans to remain committed to the nonviolent principles of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the precepts of Christian living to facilitate the birth of a new way of life in an America dealing with violent conflicts over social conditions.

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.

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.

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."

The Drum Major Instinct Sermon Outline

Monday, February 5, 1968

Dr. King outlines on scraps of paper his great sermon based on Mark 10:37. Everyone wants to be first, to get attention, he says, starting with our first cry as a baby. Adults want to do good and be praised. If the drum major instinct is not harnessed, the personality is distorted and we become boastful, gossip, put others down. On a societal level, this leads to exclusive social groups, racial prejudice and war. King states that Jesus’ answer is to dedicate this great force to worthy ends – goodness, moral excellence, generosity, kindness and service. .

Eulogy for Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Victims

Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL

This is Dr. King?s eulogy for three of the four young girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. God gives man the right to exercise good and evil, King says, but God wills that everything will happen for the good ? that out of tragedy comes redemption. Martyred in the struggle for freedom, the girls have become symbols of the crusade and of the faith that sustains it. King speaks of forgiving those who murdered the girls and the need to transform the system, the way of life, and the philosophy that led to the bombing.

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.

God

Dr. King describes the power of God.

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.