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Martin Luther King Jr: Guidelines for a Constructive Church

Too many churches are concerned with a cushion than following Jesus on the way of the cross.

Note from PreachingToday.com: We asked a handful of preachers the following question: What aspect of Dr. King's life and work has had the greatest impact on your role as a pastor and preacher? Read responses from Dr. George C. Waddles, Rev. Bryan Loritts, and Pastor John Ortberg here.

The Story behind the Sermon (by Rev. Lawrence Aker III)

Rev. Lawrence Aker III is the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York.

On May 29, 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King came to the Cornerstone Baptist Church as a marked man. He preached with an eerie sense of life's fragility, for he would have less than 700 days to live. Squeezed between an appearance on "Face the Nation" and a commencement address at Bryn Mawr College, he made his way to Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Sandy F. Ray, the sixth senior pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church, had invited him to share in a monumental day. Dr. Ray was a Morehouse colleague of Dr. Martin King Sr., so King Jr. affectionately referred to him as "Uncle Sandy." In this sermon, King makes reference to the near fatal experience when he was stabbed at Blumstein's Department Store during a book signing. He spent significant recovery time in Dr. Ray's home and remained grateful for that gesture. Cornerstone had just completed building a family life center, replete with a gymnasium, classrooms, and apartments. New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller had also come to extend congratulations.

The message "Guidelines for a Constructive Church" offered a clarion call to a nation in the tumult of the "Civil Rights Movement," but it also brings a stirring challenge for Christians today. Dr. King focuses on ministering in the midst of a heavily segregated ...

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, a prolific author and speaker, and a key leader in the American Civil Rights Movement.

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Note from PreachingToday.com: We asked a handful of preachers the following question: What aspect of Dr. King's life and work has had the greatest impact on your role as a pastor and preacher? Read responses from Dr. George C. Waddles, Rev. Bryan Loritts, and Pastor John Ortberg here.

The Story behind the Sermon (by Rev. Lawrence Aker III)

Introduction

I. The answer to a broken heart

II. Preaching to the poor

III. The acceptable year of the Lord

IV. God's guidelines aren't easy

V. It's dark now, but morning will surely come