Martin Luther King, Sr.

Martin Luther King, Sr.

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Martin Luther King, Sr.

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Martin Luther King, Sr., born Michael King (December 19, 1899 November 11, 1984) was a Baptist missionary, an advocate for equal justice and an early civil rights leader. He was also the father of Martin Luther King, Jr.

King, Sr. led the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia and became a leader of the civil rights movement, as the head of the NAACP chapter in Atlanta and of the Civic and Political League. He encouraged his son to become active in the movement.


Born Michael King on December 19, 1899 in Stockbridge, Georgia. His father was James (Jim) King (1864–1933) and his mother was Delia Linsey King (1875–1924). and the family lived as sharecroppers.

King was a member of the Baptist Church and decided to become a preacher after being inspired by ministers who were prepared to stand up for racial equality. He left Stockbridge for Atlanta, where his sister Woodie was boarding with Reverend A.D. Williams, then head of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. He attented Dillard University for a two year degree. After King started courting Williams' daughter, Alberta, her family encouraged him to finish his education and to become a preacher. King completed his high school education at Bryant Preparatory School, and began to preach in...
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