In honor of today’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, here’s a reminder that King visited Lowell on April 12, 1953. Rev. Otto Loverude, the pastor of the First United Baptist Church on Church Street, had invited King who was then a student in the doctoral program at Boston University to come to the Lowell church to preach. In his February 18 letter of invitation, Loverude wrote, “tell us something of what it means to be a member of the minority race in the South.”
King sent this response back to Loverude:
This is to acknowledge your letter of February 18. Following your suggestion I will use as a subject at the 5:30 discussion group: “What it means to be a Negro in the South.” My subject for the regular evening service will be: “What does it mean to believe in God?”
I am very happy to be able to serve you and your church and I will look forward to this occasion with great anticipation. Please feel free to contact me about any additional information. I would appreciate it very much if you would give me some directions as to getting to the church. I will be driving out.
Martin L. King Jr.