The classic collection of sixteen sermons preached and compiled by Dr. King
As Dr. King prepared for the Birmingham campaign in early 1963, he drafted the final sermons for Strength to Love, a volume of his best-known homilies. King had begun working on the sermons during a fortnight in jail in July 1962. Having been arrested for holding a prayer vigil outside Albany City Hall, King and Ralph Abernathy shared a jail cell for fifteen days that was, according to King, ‘‘dirty, filthy, and ill-equipped’’ and “the worse I have ever seen.” While behind bars, he spent uninterrupted time preparing the drafts for classic sermons such as “Loving Your Enemies,” “Love in Action,” and “Shattered Dreams,” and continued to work on the volume after his release.
A Gift of Love includes these classic sermons, along with two new preachings. Collectively they present King’s fusion of Christian teachings and social consciousness, and promote his prescient vision of love as a social and political force for change.
About the Author
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968) was a famous leader of the American civil rights movement, a political activist, and a Baptist minister. In 1964, King became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a peacemaker, promoting nonviolence and equal treatment for different races. On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1977, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter. In 1986, Martin Luther King Day was established as a United States holiday. Dr. King often called for personal responsibility in fostering world peace.King's most influential and well-known public address is the "I Have A Dream" speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Coretta Scott King (19272006), the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., was an American author and human rights activist. She helped lead the civil rights movement after Kings assassination, carrying the message of nonviolence and the dream of a beloved community to many countries, and spearheading coalitions and foundations.
The Reverend Dr. Raphael G. Warnock serves as Senior Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church (Atlanta, Georgia).
“If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. . . . Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world.”
—From “The Drum Major Instinct”
“But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.”
—From “Loving Your Enemies”