I never imagined that I would be able to visit the historical sites in Montgomery, Alabama that I had only read about in textbooks. When I saw that the Dexter Avenue Church and the Dexter Avenue Parsonage were on my travel itinerary for a recent trip, I was thrilled. I knew that this would be an important spot to learn about the civil rights movement and learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I actually was able to see Martin Luther King III speak at my university (in fact, I played a part in planning the event!), so I had an interest in learning more.
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
This National Historic Landmark, located at 454 Dexter Ave, contains the pulpit from which Martin Luther King Jr. first preached his message of hope and brotherhood. See the modest pulpit where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. first preached his message of hope and brotherhood. This church was also a center point of the Montgomery bus boycott. A large mural in the church depicts King’s civil rights crusade from Montgomery to Memphis.
The tour guide was a beautiful soul who had us singing, clapping, and feeling the overwhelming spirit that lives inside these walls. What is great about this church is that it is, of course, open to the public. You can find their services online and attend if you are visiting.
- Tuesday thru Friday: 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm & 3:00 pm
- Saturday: 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm
Dexter Avenue Parsonage
Located at 309 Jackson Street, visitors will experience the actual residence where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived with his family from 1954 to 1960. The nine-room Parsonage has been restored to its appearance when Dr. King lived there. Photos are not allowed inside, but this was a great addition to our tour. I recommend scheduling time to attend both the parsonage and the church.