The Civil Writer Magazine

Dr. King often declared his preacher’s vocation by citing his paternal family: “I grew up in the church. My father is a preacher, my grandfather was a preacher, my great-grandfather was a preacher, my only brother is a preacher. My daddy’s brother is a preacher. So I didn’t have much choice.”

Dr. King didn't share the same God as his paternal family. He attributes the decision to become a minister to his father’s “noble example”; despite their theological differences. They believed in Jesus and he didn't. "At the age of 13 I shocked my Sunday School class by denying the bodily resurrection of Jesus. From the age of thirteen doubts began to spring forth unrelentingly."

Dr. King’s faith underwent significant changes from the time he was a child with suicide attempts and the death of his maternal grandmother. "I accepted Biblical studies uncritically until I was about twelve years old. But this uncritical attitude could not last long, for it was contrary to the very nature of my being."

At first, he was discouraged from the ministry by a strain of black preaching that was long on emotion and short on reason. "Today I differ a great deal with my father theologically, but that admiration for a real father still remains."

Dr. King's paper on Jesus