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Martin Luther King, Jr.: Spirit-led Prophet
by Richard Deats, forward by Coretta Scott King.


A new biography of King that emphasizes the nonviolent faith which led him to become a world prophet. This book "brings King's spirit alive to a new generation," according to Mairead Maguire, Nobel Prize Laureate. 1999, 151 pp., paper. $13.95

"Richard Deat's biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. brings King's spirit alive to a new generation. King's belief in the sanctity of life and his spirit of love and compassion inspires us all and challenges each new generation to begin again the quest for truth and justice."
Mairead Maguire
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

"There has been a need for a long time for a concise, updated guide focused on his spiritual life. In Martin Luther King, Jr.: Spirit-Led Prophet, author Richard Deats has made a significant contribution to meeting this need. He discusses with unique insight some of my husband's most revealing, yet overlooked writings about his most deeply-felt values, shedding new light on his religious and philosophical views.
Coretta Scott King (from the Foreword)

"Richard Deats presents a popular and inspiring biography of one called 'The Spirit-Led Prophet.' The life of Martin Luther King, Jr. comes alive as the story of the civil rights movement unfolds. Dr. King's unwavering commitment to non-violence highlights a life dedicated to peace through works of justice."
Walter F. Sullivan
Bishop of Richmond, Virginia

"Here we find the real Martin King-peacemaker, practitioner of nonviolence, voice for justice, follower of the trouble making Jesus, a true 'Spirit-led Prophet.' Richard Deats' inspiring biography summons us to take up where King left off-to denounce war, racism, poverty and nuclear weapons; to announce the way of nonviolence, disarmament and justice for the poor and to become Spirit-led prophets for a new century."
Rev. John Dear, S.J., Executive Director
The Fellowship of Reconciliation

"This book introduces a whole new generation to the man behind the legend, and will reinspire an older generation with a call to courage and commitment. Deats' draws the reader right into his story, writing with both simplicity and profundity. Young folks and old, educated or not, can find in these pages a challenge to continue King's great work and extend it into new areas of concern."
Walter Wink, Author

"If I could choose only one book about the life and thought of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this would be it."
Gerald H. Anderson, Director
Overseas Ministries Study Center
New Haven, Connecticut

"Both young and old will see this book as a fast moving, easily understood story of one of the great leaders of the 20th century who challenged the country, and indeed the world, to a better way with the goal of ridding the world of poverty, racism and militarism."
Dorothy Cotton
Co-worker with King,
former SCLC staff person

EPILOGUE
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. SPIRIT-LED PROPHET

At the place where Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, there is a simple plaque with an inscription from the story in the Bible where Joseph's brothers plot to get rid of him:

Here comes the dreamer. Come now, let us kill him...and we shall see what will become of his dreams.(Genesis 37:19-20)

Dr. King was killed at the age of thirty-nine, his ministry cut short after only a few brief years. Those who cheered when he died--and there were many--thought he had finally been silenced. but the dream of the promised land has been placed in the human heart for all eternity, and that dream cannot be killed. As Vincent Harding, African-American professor of religion and social transformation at Iliff School of Theology, has written, "King lives...we saw him facing the tanks in Tienanmen Square, dancing on the crumbling wall of Berlin , singing in Prague, alive in the glistening eyes of Nelson Mandela...he lives within us, right here, wherever his message is expanded and carried out in our daily lives, wherever his unfinished battles are taken up by our hands.:
As King approached that final day in Memphis, the fire of God's light and love and life burned ever more insistently in him. He reached out to embrace the whole earth with "the fierce urgenchy of Now." He had risen to prominence as a civil rights leader of African-Americans. At the end of his life his final passion was for all of God's poor--black and white, brown, yellow, and red. And he was looking beyond his own country, envisioning nonviolent liberation throughout the world. From the mountaintop of faith he had a foretaste of that final reconciliation God is calling us to. Our hearts tremble as we too seek to follow that Light, whever it leads, whatever the cost.
We ponder the mystery of God's luminous presence that shone so brightly in this disciple of Jesus. and we are hushed in awe and gratitude of such a life. In one of Shakespeare's plays are words that could be said about Martin Luther King, Jr., spirit-led prophet:
Take him and cut him out in little stars
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night.

Black Knight of the nonviolent God, your stars still burn brightly in the night and our way is illumined.

 

Available from the FOR (Fellowship of Reconciliation) bookstore.

 

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