King Came Preaching

King Came Preaching

The Pulpit Power of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

by Dr. Mervyn A. Warren
Foreword by Gardner C. Taylor

King Came Preaching
  • Length: 223 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: June 21, 2008
  • Item Code: 3253
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-3253-8

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We know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a social activist who changed America. But King's beginnings were as a preacher, and he preached with power throughout his life. In light of this, it is all the more remarkable that few have focused on his "pulpit power," which reflected his religious commitments and shaped the civil rights movement that he led.

Dr. Mervyn A. Warren offers us a journey into King's preaching in this homiletical biography exploring his sermons, use of language, delivery and more. In these pages we have a remarkable opportunity to gain new insight into all of King's life and work, includiing access to four of Dr. King's previously unpublished sermons. Now in paper, this book will be an invaluable resource to students and pastors alike who wish to emulate the power of King's preaching and the dedication of his faith.

"A tremendous contribution to the growing body of King scholarship."

Dr. Lewis Baldwin, professor of religious studies, Vanderbilt University

"Yes, here is one more volume on Martin Luther King Jr., but this one is distinguished by first-person conversations not previously published. It offers, also, valuable background, detailed coverage and analysis, and fresh insights into King's message as a preacher of the gospel."

Dr. Henry H. Mitchell, author of Black Preaching

"This book is aptly crafted and well-written, a worthy addition to the growing number of studies about King's preaching. The inspirational tone in its pages deepens one's appreciation for the teaching and practice of preaching. Even the most seasoned practitioners will find help and inspiration here for their own pulpit work."

James Earl Massey, emeritus dean of the chapel, Tuskegee University

"Dr. Warren celebrates that mysterious quality of rhetorical wisdom and that rare gift of oratory and conversational resonance that made Martin Luther King Jr. one of the few great pulpiteers in twentieth-century America. A tremendous contribution to the growing body of King scholarship."

Dr. Lewis V. Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr. Professor, Vanderbilt University

"Martin Luther King Jr. was many things--teacher, mediator, architect of social change--but more than anything else he was a preacher, and Mervyn Warren is right to remind us of this. King stood in a long line of preachers, from the Hebrew prophets to the preachers of the black tradition, and it was his giftedness in the pulpit, more than any other single factor, that insures his place in history."

Dr. John Killinger, author of Fundamentals of Preaching

"A prominent New York lawyer, descendant of the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, once said in my hearing that Martin Luther King was not only a preacher. This was true, but anyone who knew Dr. King will know that his highest purpose was to be a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"Martin King would feel greatly gratified by Mervyn Warren's book King Came Preaching. It is a thoroughly examined analysis of the preaching of the man who gave to America 'a new birth of freedom.' One will not be far into this book without seeing that the rare pulpit gifts of America's only true spiritual genius, Martin King, have been carefully and faithfully dissected. Dr. Warren has made all students of King and of preaching his debtors."

Dr. Gardner Taylor (from the Foreword)


Foreword by Dr. Gardner C. Taylor
1. A Homiletical Biography
2. King As Black Preacher the Liberating Word
3. The Audience: Those Who Heard Those Who Listened
4. The Content of the King Sermons, Part One: Reflected in the Person
5. The Content of the King Sermons, Part Two: Logos Pathos
6. The Themes of King's Sermons
7. Language in Kingly Style
8. Sermon Design, Preparation Delivery
9. Conclusion: King's Contribution to Preaching Theology
Appendix 1: King Speaks at Oakwood College
Appendix 2: The Ultimate Doom of Evil
Appendix 3: The Prodigal Son
Appendix 4: No Room at the Inn
Appendix 5: King's Use of Sources


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Dr. Mervyn A. Warren

Dr. Mervyn A. Warren is provost and senior vice president at Oakwood University. A graduate of Oakwood, he attended the seminary of Andrews University (MA and MDiv). His PhD is from Michigan State University, and he also has a DMin from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Dr. Warren is also the author of God Made Known and Black Preaching, Truth and Soul.