Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia as son of pastor Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. 5 His true baptismal name was “Michael King” 6 but his father changed his own name from Michael to Martin Luther and later said that the name Michael was mistakenly recorded. 7 Martin, Jr. was middle child, born between an older sister, Willie Christine King, and a younger brother, Alfred Daniel Williams King.
8 King sang along with his church choir in the Atlantic premiere in 1939 of the movie Tatt av vinden. 9King initially was skeptical of many of Christianity’s claims. 10 Most obviously, perhaps, was his initial rejection of Jesus’ resurrection when he was 13 years old on Sunday school. From this point, he has stated, began to come forth, 11 but later concluded that the Bible has “many basic truths that can not escape” and decided to study for priest. 10King grew up in Atlanta and went to the Booker T. Washington High School. As an early mature student, he jumped over both ninth and twelfth years, starting at Morehouse College when he was 15 years old without formal graduation from upper secondary school. 12 In 1948, he graduated at Morehouse with a degree in sociology, then began at Crozers Theological Seminary at Chester, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from the Cand.
Theol. in 1951. 13 14 King married Coretta Scott on June 18, 1953, on the lawn outside her parents’ house in their hometown of Heiberger, Alabama. 15 They became parents of four children: Yolanda King, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King and Bernice King. 16King became a priest at the Baptist Church at Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, Alabama, when he was 25 years old in 1954. 17 He then began his doctorate in systematic theology at Boston University and received his philosophical doctorate on June 5, 1955 with the dissertation of A Comparison of the concepts of God in the mind of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman. A survey in the 1980s concluded that parts of his dissertation were plagiarized and that he had acted inadvertently, but his dissertation nevertheless “made an intelligent contribution to research.”