Leadership In His Blood


            Martin Luther King Jr. was born into a household of respect in the Atlanta area.  “He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929 as Michael King, but in 1935 his father changed both of their name to Martin Luther to honor the German Protestant Reformer”.[1]  Martin’s father was the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church for 37 years.[2]  Martin Luther King looked like his father and everyone in the congregation of the church knew that he would someday grow up and be his father.  This fact drove Martin away from the life that might have been and into a world that his parents never imagined for him.  They believed he would be great, but they did not dream the same way that Martin did. 

             What may be foreshadowing about Martin Luther King was his favorite him growing up was “I want to be like Jesus”.[3]  Throughout his life this would seem to be his motto.  Do not be concerned about what others think, instead do what Jesus would do. 

            Martin was a hard working young man.  These were again traits that he had acquired from his father.  By the age of 15 he was ready to enter college.  He chose Morehouse College to attend.  It was here that his path of ministry began to take shape.  Martin Luther King said “My call to the ministry was not a miraculous or supernatural something, On the contrary it was an inner urge calling me to serve humanity.”[4]  This shows that Martin Luther King was more concerned even at a young age with the humanistic and social dimensions of Christianity than the spiritual implications that might come with it.  

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[1] Russel Moldovan, “Martin Luther King Jr., “ Christian History,  Issue 65, volume XIX, 38.

[2] Keith Miller, Voice of Deliverance, (New York: The Free Press, 1992), 1.

[3] Ibid., 1.

[4] Moldovan, “Martin Luther King Jr.,” 38.