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He had concluded that the church offered the most assuring way to answer "an inner urge to serve humanity." King's "inner urge" had begun developing, and he made peace with the Baptist Church, as he believed he would be a "rational" minister with sermons that were "a respectful force for ideas, even social protest." The African-American students of Crozer for the most part conducted their social activity on Edwards Street.King became fond of the street because a classmate had an aunt who prepared collard greens for them, which they both relished.King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. and his father was also born Michael King, but the elder King changed his and his son's names following a 1934 trip to Germany to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin.
One of the group's inspirations was the crusades of evangelist Billy Graham, who befriended King after he attended a Graham crusade in New York City in 1957. King narrowly escaped death when Izola Curry, a mentally ill black woman who believed he was conspiring against her with communists, stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener.
He continued to have lingering feelings toward the women he left; one friend was quoted as saying, "He never recovered." King began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Ph. on June 5, 1955, with a dissertation on A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.
While pursuing doctoral studies, King worked as an assistant minister at Boston's historic Twelfth Baptist Church with Rev. Hester was an old friend of King's father, and was an important influence on King.
He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.
King became a civil rights activist early in his career.