Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
Volume VI: Advocate of the Social Gospel, September 1948 - March 1963, Chronology and Sermon List

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This Chronology and Sermon List includes King’s sermon titles through 1959. Later sermon titles will be listed in the chronologies of appropriate volumes. Titles of delivered sermons are set in regular type while sermon titles arid descriptions found only in press announcements or press releases prior to the sermon’s delivery are italicized.
Date Event

1947

Fall
King preaches a trial sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.

1948

25 Feb
King is ordained and appointed associate pastor at Ebenezer.
25 Apr
Life is What You Make It” and “The Meaning of Christian Living,” Liberty Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
Summer
King serves as associate pastor of Ebenezer.
1 Aug
"External Versus Internal Religon,” Ebenezer.
8 Aug
The Tests of Goodness,” Ebenezer.
22 Aug
God's Kingdom First,” Ebenezer.
Fall
King begins his first term at Crozer Theological Seminary.

1949

20 Feb Youth Day sermon, Ebenezer.
3 Mar "Facing Life's Inescapables," Chester, Pennsylvania.
Summer King serves as associate pastor at Ebenezer.
22 May
"A Way Out," Ebenezer.
5 June
Mastering Our Evil Selves”/ “Mastering Ourselves,” Ebenezer.
19 June
Men's Day sermon, Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
3 July
"The Voice of Hope," Ebenezer.
17 July "The Supremacy of Hope," Ebenezer.
24 July "Splinters and Planks," Ebenezer.
31 July "Two Challenging Questions," Ebenezer.
7 Aug "Worship" and "On Being Converted," Ebenezer.
14 Aug Youth Day sermon, Zion Hill Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
21 Aug "Who is Truly Great," Ebenezer.
4 Sept "The Great Paradox" and "The Significance of the Cross," Ebenezer.
11 Sept "Modern Baals," Ebenezer.

1950

1 Jan "Impending Mountains," Ebenezer.
19 Feb "Walking with the Lord," Ebenezer.
Summer King serves as associate pastor at Ebenezer.
28 May "Three Levels of Fellowship," Ebenezer.
4 June "I had Fainted Unless. . . !" Ebenezer.
18 June "The Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth," Ebenezer.
25 June "Unanswered Prayer," Ebenezer.
2 July "Propagandizing Christianity" and "Forgiveness," Ebenezer.
16 July "Two Eternal Truths," Ebenezer.
23 July
Thou Fool" and "Having the Moral Courage to Speak Out," Ebenezer.
30 July Youth Day sermon, Liberty Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
6 Aug "Christ or Shaos" and "What the Cross Means to Me," Ebenezer.
20 Aug "The Conquest of Fear," Ebenezer.
27 Aug "Worship," Ebenezer.
24 Dec "The Light Amid Darkness," Ebenezer.
31 Dec "A Religion of Doing," Ebenezer.

1951

18 Feb "Nothing in Particular," Ebenezer.
6-8 May King graduates from Crozer Theological Seminary.
13 May "The World Crisis and a Mother's Responsibility," Ebenezer.
27 May "Beyond Condemnation," Ebenezer.
Summer King serves as associate pastor at Ebenezer.
3 June "Sincerity Is Not Enough" and "The Courtesy of God," Ebenezer.
17 June "Where is God Found?" Ebenezer.
24 June "Procrastination," Ebenezer.
1 July "Witnessing for Christ," Ebenezer.
8 July "The Meaning of Faith," Ebenezer.
22 July
"Doing the Best with What You Have," Ebenezer.
5 Aug "The Necessity of the Second Birth" and "Beyond Good Deeds," Ebenezer.
19 Aug "God's Kingdom First," Ebenezer.
2 Sept "What is Man?" and "What Think Ye of Christ," Ebenezer.
Fall King begns his first term as a doctoral student at Boston University School of Theology.

1952

16 Mar King is scheduled to preach at Ebenezer’s celebration of its sixty-fifth anniversary and of King, Sr.’s twentieth anniversary as its pastor.
18 May "Relevance of the Holy Spirit," Ebenezer.
25 May "The Prevalence of Practical Atheism," Ebenezer.
Summer King serves as associate pastor at Ebenezer.
27 July "The Divine Shepherd," Ebenezer.
3 Aug "The Power and Wisdom of the Cross," Ebenezer.
10 Aug "Communism's Challenge to Christianity," Ebenezer.
17 Aug "Faith in Man," Ebenezer.
31 Aug "Loving Your Enemies," Ebenezer; Youth Day sermon, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
7 Sept "Mental and Spiritual Slavery" and "The Permanance of Christ," Ebenezer.
26 Oct “Going Forward by Going Backward,” People’s Baptist Church, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
28 Dec After Christmas, What? Ebenezer.

1953

5 Apr Easter sermon, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts.
12 Apr
"What Does It Mean To Believe in God?" First United Baptist Church, Lowell, Massachusetts.
Summer King serves as associate pastor at Ebenezer.
21 June "By These Things Men Live" and "Does It Pay To Be Faithful?" Ebenezer
28 June "Accepting Responsibility for Your Actions," Ebenezer.
5 July Atlanta’s WERD begins broadcasting from Ebenezer for several months. "The False God of Science," radio station WERD. Atlanta, Georgia; "When God Seems to Deceive Us," Ebenezer.
12 July "The False God of Nationalism," radio station WERD; "Transformed Non-Conformists," Ebenezer.
19 July "The False God of Money," radio station WERD.
26 July "God's Revelation to the World," Ebenezer; "Accepting Responsibility For Your Actions," radio station WERD.
2 Aug "Dressing Christ in False Robes," Ebenezer; "First Things First" ("God's Kingdom First"), radio station WERD.
9 Aug "The Tragedy of Almost" and "Communism's Challenge to Christianity," Ebenezer; "A Half Baked Civilization," radio station WERD.
16 Aug "Lord, Is It I?" and "Going Forward by Going Backward," Ebenezer; "The Challenge of the Book of Jonah," radio station WERD.
23 Aug "Self-Examination," Ebenezer; "The Prevalence of Practical Atheism," radio station WERD.
30 Aug "Opportunity, Fidelity, and Reward," Ebenezer; "The Peril of Conformity," radio station WERD.
6 Sept "The Dimensions of a Complete Life," Ebenezer; "What Is Man?" radio station WERD.

1954

17 Jan
King is scheduled to preach an initial sermon at First Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
24 Jan King preaches his initial sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” Dexter, Montgomery, Alabama.
28 Feb Rediscovering Lost Values, Second Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan.
4 Apr “Going Forward by Going Backward,” Dexter.
14 Apr King accepts the call to Dexter’s pastorate.
May “Mental and Spiritual Slavery,” Dexter.
2 May “Accepting Responsibility for Your Actions,” Dexter. In the evening King gives his acceptance address at Dexter.
16 May
“What Is Man?” Thirty-third annual memorial service, Pullman Porters’ Benefit Association of America, Union Baptist Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
30 May
“Loving Your Enemies,” Dexter.
4 July “A Religion of Doing,” Dexter.
11 July “What Is Man?” Men’s Day sermon, Dexter.
1 Sept King begins his pastorate at Dexter.
5 Sept “God’s Love,” Dexter.
9 Sept “The Vision of a World Made New,” Woman’s Convention Auxiliary of the National Baptist Convention, St. Louis, Missouri.
12 Sept “Propagandizing Christianity,” Dexter.
26 Sept “Creating the Abundant Life,” Dexter.
17 Oct “New Wine in New Bottles,” Dexter.
Nov
“Transformed Nonconformist,” Dexter.
28 Nov Men’s Day sermon, Friendship Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.

1955

Jan On Worshiping False Gods
Jan False God of Pleasure
20 Mar Sixty-eighth anniversary sermon, Ebenezer.
8 May Crisis Facing Present-Day Family Life in America,” Dexter.
15 May “Other Mountains,” Baccalaureate sermon, Alabama State College, Montgomery, Alabama.
31 May The faculty of Boston University votes to confer the doctorate on King.
19 June “Who Is Truly Great,” Dexter. 
26 June “Discerning the Signs of History,” Dexter.
17 July
"Am I My Brother's Keeper?" Dexter.
24 July “The Death of Evil Upon the Seashore,” Dexter.
28 Aug Men’s Day sermon, Jackson Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama.
25 Sept "Pride Versus Humility: The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican," Dexter.
2 Oct
“The Impassable Gulf (The Parable of Dires and Lazarus),” Dexter.
16 Oct “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
23 Oct “The Death of Evil Upon the Seashore,” Religious Emphasis Week, Fort Valley State College, Fort Valley, Georgia.
30 Oct "The Seeking God," Dexter.
20 Nov “The One-sided Approach of the Good Samaritan,” Dexter.
4 Dec “Why Does God Hide Himself,” Dexter.
5 Dec The Montgomery bus boycott begins.
25 Dec “The Light That Shineth Amid Darkness,” Dexter.

1956

1 Jan “Our God Is Able,” Dexter.
8 Jan “The Death of Evil on the Seashore,” Ebenezer.
15 Jan “How Believe in a Good God in the Face of Glaring Evil?” Dexter.
22 Jan “Redirecting Our Missionary Zeal,” Dexter.
29 Jan YMCA Sunday sermon, Dexter.
5 Feb “It’s Hard to Be a Christian,” Dexter.
19 Feb “What Is Man?” Religious Emphasis Week, Fisk Memorial Chapel, Nashville, Tennessee.
20 Feb “Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” Religious Emphasis Week, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee.
21 Feb “Going Forward by Going Backward,” Religious Emphasis Week, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee.
26 Feb “Faith in Man,” Dexter.
18 Mar “When Peace Becomes Obnoxious,” Dexter.
22 Apr Youth Day sermon, Good Street Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas.
29 Apr “Fleeing from God,” Dexter; Men’s Day sermon, Hunters’ Chapel AME Zion Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
13 May “The Role of the Negro Mother in Preparing Youth for Integration,” Dexter.
17 May “The Death of Evil Upon the Seashore,” National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, New York.
20 May Youth Peoples Choir Day sermon, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
23 May Youth Emphasis Week sermon, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
22 July
Men’s Day sermon, New Hope Baptist Church, Niagara Falls, New York.
12 Aug “Rediscovering Lost Values,” Mount Olivet Baptist Church, New York, New York.
7 Sept “Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” National Baptist Convention, Denver, Colorado.
Oct “The Prodigal Son,” Dexter.
Oct “The Fellow Who Stayed at Home,” Dexter.
4 Nov
“Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” Dexter.
6 Nov “The Most Durable Power,” Dexter.
18 Nov Men’s Day address, Mount Zion First Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
6 Dec
“Remember Who You Are!!” Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
20 Dec
The Montgomery Improvement Association votes to end the bus boycott.

1957

6 Jan
“Great Expectations,” Dexter.
13 Jan The Ways of God in the Midst of Glaring Evil,” Dexter.
20 Jan Paul’s Letter to American Christians, Ebenezer.
21 Jan “Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Minnesota State Pastors Conference, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minnesota.
27 Jan At Dexter’s Sunday service, King reveals to the congregation his vision of a year earlier in which a divine voice told him to lead the Montgomery movement without fear.
10 Feb From pulpits across the nation, pastors read King’s “For All-A Non-Segregated Society,” a message he wrote forRace Relations Sunday sponsored by the National Council of Churches.
27 Feb “Remember Who You Are,” Annual Week of Prayer, Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia.
28 Feb “Going Forward by Going Backward,” Annual Week of Prayer, Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia.
1 Mar “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” Annual Week of Prayer, Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia.
7 Apr “The Birth of a New Nation,” Dexter.
14 Apr Garden of Gethsemane, Dexter.
21 Apr Questions That Easter Answers, Dexter.
28 Apr The Rewards of Worship, Dexter.
3 June “Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” American Baptist Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
14 July “Overcoming an Inferiority Complex,” Dexter.
21 July “The Mastery of Fear,” Dexter; “Going Forward by Going Backward,” Woman’s Day sermon, First Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama.
4 Aug “Factors That Determine Character,” Dexter.
11 Aug
“Conquering Self-Centeredness,” Dexter.
12 Aug
“Propagandizing Christianity,” National Missions Conference, Green Lake, Wisconsin.
18 Aug “Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” Central Methodist Church, Detroit, Michigan.
22 Sept
Men’s Day sermon, Liberty Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
27 Oct
“The Things That Are God’s," Dexter.
10 Nov
“Love Your Enemies,” Convocation of the School of Religion, Andrew Kankin Memorial Chapel, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
17 Nov
“Loving Your Enemies,” Dexter.
1 Dec
“Structure and Destiny,” Dexter.
3 Dec
The Oneness of Man in American Intergroup Relations, Division of Christian Life and Work Visitors Program of the National Council of Churches, St. Louis, Missouri.
4 Dec The Christian Way of Life in Human Relations, General Assembly of the National Council of Churches, St. Louis, Missouri.

1958

12 Jan “Structure and Destiny,” Ebenezer; “What Is Man?” Chicago Sunday Evening Club, Chicago, Illinois.
16 Feb
“Not By Bread Alone,” Dexter.
12 Mar
“The Christian Doctrine of Man,” Detroit Council of Churches’ Noon Lenten Services, Central Methodist Church, Detroit, Michigan.
23 Mar
“I Thirst,” Dexter.
6 Apr
“The Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth,” Dexter.
9 Apr “What Is Man?” and “The Peril of Conformity,” Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
13 Apr “Is It Un-Christian to Judge Others?” Dexter.
23 Apr “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” Bucknell University Chapel, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
4 May “The Unpardonable Sin,” Dexter.
11May “The Problem of Unanswered Prayer,” Dexter.
25 May “Did Jesus Believe in Chance?” Dexter.
1 June “Did Jesus Disapprove of Wealth?” Dexter.
3 June Paul’s Letter to American Christians, Founding Convention of the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
15 June “Will Christ Visibly Return to Earth?” Dexter.
22 June “Nature of Heaven,” Dexter.
29 June
“The Nature of Hell,” Dexter.
6 July
“The Mystery of Life,” Dexter.
31 July “A Knock at Midnight,” Alabama State Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress, Selma University, Selma, Alabama.
3 Aug
“Catching the Wrong Train,” Dexter.
10 Aug
“In Life’s Storms,” Dexter.
17 Aug
“The Greatest Power in the World,” Dexter.
24 Aug
Going Forward by Going Backwards,” Central Methodist Church, Detroit, Michigan.
31 Aug
“A Knock at Midnight,” Central Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
7 Sept “Getting Along With Other People,” Dexter.
14 Sept “A Knock at Midnight,” Woman’s Convention, National Baptist Convention, Chicago, Illinois.
7 Dec
Eighty-first anniversary sermon, Dexter.
14 Dec “Worship at Its Best,” Dexter.
21 Dec “Christ Our Starting Point,” Dexter.

1959

4 Jan “Inner Calm Amid Outer Tension,” Dexter.
18 Jan “The Blinding Power of Sin,” Dexter.
8 Feb
“Looking Beyond Our Circumstances,” Dexter (sermon delivered by tape recording in King’s absence).
22 Mar
Palm Sunday sermon on Mohandas K Gandhi, Dexter.
29 Mar A Walk Through the Holy Land, Easter Sunday sermon, Dexter.
Apr King’s The Measure of a Man is published by Christian Education Press.
5 Apr “Unfulfilled Hopes,” Dexter.
12 Apr “Making Use of What You Have,” Dexter.
19 Apr “The Dimensions of a Complete Life,” Chicago Sunday Evening Club, Chicago, Illinois.
20 Apr “Paul’s Letter to American Christians,” McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois.
26 Apr “The Art of Getting Along with Others,” Dexter.
3 May “Sleeping Through a Revolution,” Dexter.
10 May “A New Challenge for Modern Mothers,” Dexter.
31 May “The Service of the Church to Mental Health,” Dexter; “The Dimensions of a Complete Life,” Baccalaureate service, Dillard University, New Orleans, Louisiana.
14 June
“Unconditioned Faith,” Dexter.
21 June “On Knowing How to Live with Prosperity,” Dexter.
28 June
“On Knowing How to Live with Poverty,” Dexter.
9 Aug “Man’s Helplessness Without God,” Dexter.
16 Aug The Conflict in Human Nature,” Dexter.
23 Aug “Loving Your Enemies,” Central Methodist Church, Detroit, Michigan.
30 Aug “A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart,” Dexter.
20 Sept
Youth Day sermon, Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles, California.
27 Sept
“Understanding Life’s Injustices,” Dexter.
25 Oct “Remember Who You Are,” Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
2 Nov
In Chester, Pennsylvania, Crozer honors King with its first Alumni Achievement Award.
8 Nov Men's Day sermon, Zion Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
22 Nov Seventy-first anniversary sermon, Union Grove Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio.
29 Nov King resigns from Dexter during Sunday morning services.
20 Dec “The Significance of the Manger,” Dexter.
27 Dec
“After Christmas, What?” Dexter.
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