“If you see a good fight, get in it.” - Vernon Johns
A young Dr. Martin Luther King searched for a full-time position in 1954. On January 24th, Dr. King gave a trial sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. It could lead to his break as a full-time pastor at this historic church. He had heard that the church administrators were unhappy with the current pastor who was a “militant guy, who had exhorted the congregation like a ‘whirlwind’ to get involved in social issues.”
Dr. King impressed the congregation and they offered him the position. The church thought that Dr. King was young, impressionable, and they could mold him. Little did they know that their “exhortations” to be involved with social issues were just beginning.
Dr. King was living in Boston and had to consider whether he wanted to move south where there was segregation, social strife, and rampant discrimination (often with violence).
Dr. King decided to take the position, later writing in his book that “we had a feeling that something remarkable was unfolding in the South, and we wanted to be on hand to witness it.” In other words, he saw a good fight worth getting into.
The story of Dr. Martin Luther King has been told in detail from a variety of angles, motivations, and lessons to be learned. But, we rarely see information about his mentors. This is the story of a relatively unknown early mentor and trailblazer of Dr. King and other civil rights luminaries at the time, Dr. Vernon Johns.
Members can read the full story here: If You See A Good Fight, Get In It
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