martin-luther-king-jr-1As Black History Month comes to a close, let us take time to reflect on a man who is remembered for his efforts to ensure equal rights for people of all nationalities. The name of Martin Luther King Jr. is well known today, and while most citizens know something about him and what he did, there is much about which most citizens know very little today, perhaps because of the overt Christian nature of his message and work (some of which you will see below).

Born in Atlanta in 1929 into a family of preachers, both his father and grandfather were ordained ministers of the Gospel. At the age of fifteen, he entered Morehouse College, then Crozer Theological Seminary, before earning his doctorate at Boston University. [1]

While pastoring the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, King was chosen as leader of Montgomery’s Bus boycott, a movement begun by the Rosa Parks incident in 1955. During this time, his house was firebombed, and he was arrested. [2]

He continued to advance the non-violent Civil Rights movement, and in 1964 won the Nobel peace prize for his work, becoming (at 35 years old) the youngest recipient of this award. [3]

The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights was an organization he worked closely with in Birmingham. [4]  Below is their Ten Commandments Pledge that each member signed upon joining. Nine of these ten should still be followed by every citizen today!


[1]  “Martin Luther King, Jr.: Biographical Sketch,” Louisiana State University, (accessed February 12, 2015). See also,Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Nobel Prize (accessed February 12, 2015).


[2] Martin Luther King, Jr., Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Clayborn Carson, editor (New York: Warner Books, 1998).See also, Jannell McGrew, “The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.,” The Montgomery Bus Boycott (accessed February 12, 2015).


[3]Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Nobel Prize (accessed February 12, 2015).


[4] Andrew Manis, “Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights,” Encyclopedia of Alabama (August 27, 2014). See also, S. Jonathan Bass, “Martin Luther King Jr.,” Encyclopedia of Alabama (July 24, 2013) and “Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights,” The King Center (accessed February 12, 2015).