Before anything else, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Christian minister heading the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama which has since become the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church.
He would emerge as a notable force and activist using the power of his speeches to draw attention to the ills in American society and the wrongs inflicted on its black citizens.
He would immerse himself in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.
Crucially, King gave a final Sunday sermon on March 31, 1968, at the Washington National Cathedral before his slaying.
King, at his eloquent best, narrated the short story by American author Washington Irving, first published in 1819 about a Rip Van Winkle who fell asleep in the Catskill Mountains only to wake 20 years later having missed the American Revolution. He called for remaining awake during a revolution.
Quoting Revelation 16, King stressed that God will make all things new while former things pass away, warning that in the face of great social change, one had to find a new mental response and attitude.
He added that there was a triple revolution – a technological revolution spanning automation and cybernation, a weaponry revolution which has atomic and nuclear advancement as well as a human rights revolution with a freedom explosion taking place globally.
When anything new comes, it brings along challenges and opportunities, observed King.
Watch the sermon below: