Reflections & Poetry

The secularisation of Martin Luther King

Ahead of Martin Luther King day tomorrow in the US and the release of the film ‘Selma’ in the UK, I am re-posting this article from 2013.

Grace + Truth

MLKThere has been a huge amount of coverage in this last week about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’sI have a Dream speech which was delivered at the 1963 March on Washington.

The speech is widely considered as the most inspirational of the 20th century.  However, alongside the appreciation there is a consistent tendency of commentators to downplay or eliminate the Christian faith in King’s activism and the wider civil rights movement.

A Baptist Minister

So frequently is King is referred to as a ‘Civil Rights leader’ that many people don’t even know that he was and always remained a Baptist Minister until his death.  Despite the campaigning, the marches, the imprisonments and the Nobel prizes, almost every Sunday he would preach at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery or later on at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta.

It was because of his role as a Minister that, aged 26, he was asked to lead the boycott of…

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1 thought on “The secularisation of Martin Luther King”

  1. Hi Jon, just wanted to say thank you for reposting this article. MLK was a member of the US branch of FoR (the Fellowship of Reconciliation) and FoR, England just had our last Centenary event yesterday at the University Church, Oxford, celebrating 100 years of spreading the non-violent message of Christ. Thanks also for your Advent challenge and daily reflections leading up to Christmas. I’ve added our website address below. Love and peace in Christ.


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