Monday, January 15, 2018
Last week we talked about the Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther the Monk. This week we shall conclude with the second Martin, aka Martin Luther King, Jr. born as Michael King, Jr.
As the story goes, King Sr. joined a group of Baptist ministers on a tour of the Holy Land with stops in Europe. The trip culminated in a week long Baptist World Alliance conference in Berlin, during which the reverend visited many of the historical religious sites in the same land where Martin Luther defied the Catholic Church centuries earlier.
Today we celebrate the birthday, civil and religious contributions to the second Martin, known for his activity in the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. He began as a powerful Baptist Preacher in Alabama.
He was thrown into the media spotlight, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Alabama, when “Jim Crow” laws ruled and African Americans had no true civil rights. Martin headed up a bus boycott that lasted over a year; it culminated with equal seating rights for blacks and whites.
However, the real thing that has catapulted Martin to the forefront was his determination to conduct all of the civil rights protests, in a nonviolent manner. While in the North, Malcom X and his followers were declaring, “By any means necessary”, King’s followers were singing, “We Shall Overcome Someday” and keeping their hands by their sides. Because of his successes and constant efforts to reform society and raise the status of all people, black, white, Jew, etc. he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
A prolific speaker and writer, King, who held a doctoral degree in Theology is best known for his “I Have a Dream” and “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speeches. He was born in 1929 and was assassinated, at an early age, in 1968.
I have learned that when a person loses his fear of dying, then he/she can then truly begin to live. Although it was cut short, King lived a full life in the 40 years given to him. Through the power of God, he withstood insults, indignities and outright bigotry, but he never turned back. He was dedicated both to Jesus Christ, his savior and the disenfranchised people around the world.
Happy Birthday Dr. King!
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