From its founding in 1877, a series of remarkable preachers have filled the pulpit at the Dexter Avenue (King Memorial) Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Most famous among them, of course, was Martin Luther King, Jr., whose leadership of the civil rights movement began in a meeting in the basement of the Dexter Church at the outset of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. Yet King’s was only one of the powerful voices which thundered the social gospel from what has become one of the most significant religious edifices in the world. In this book, editor Michael Thurman—the current pastor of the church-presents sermons from each of the ministers who have led the church since 1947. These pastors are: Vernon Johns, Martin Luther King, Jr., Herbert Eaton, G. Murray Branch, Robert Dickerson, Boykin Sanders, Richard Wills, and Michael Thurman. Their collective sermons reveal the rhetorical and literary talents which are a hallmark of great preaching, the profound faith which has sustained the African American tradition, and the power and persuasiveness which have come to be identified with the Dexter Church pulpit as a force for both spiritual and social change.
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