Vernon Johns: Brilliant Preacher and Predecessor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1 Posted by - May 27, 2023 - CIVIL RIGHTS, LATEST POSTS

“A brilliant preacher with a creative mind,” “A fearless man, who never allowed an injustice to come to his attention without speaking out against it.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Vernon Johns has often been remembered as a brilliant thinker who was the predecessor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. He has often been referred to as being “The Father of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Johns was born in Darlington Heights, Virginia, on April 22, 1892. Growing up, Johns worked on a farm and was a brilliant reader and student of Western classical thought. He attended the Boydton Institute and Virginia Theological Seminary and College, later earning his divinity degree from Oberlin College.

In 1948, Johns delivered his trial sermon and became the 19th pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He often challenged the congregation, at times presenting a volatile temperament that offended some of his congregants. His controversial sermon topics included “It is Safe to Kill Negroes in Montgomery,” which caused an uproar and concern among church goers and residents of the local community.


Johns’ intellectual abilities included speaking in several languages and reciting lengthy scriptural passages by memory. His community activist work included helping black girls and women who had been raped by white men report the incident to the authorities. He also worked as a civil rights activist by involving himself with desegregation efforts and refusing to accept racist policies.

Because Johns stayed at odds with many of the congregants of the church, he resigned numerous times. However, after his fifth resignation, the church accepted it and he was eventually succeeded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King respected Johns’ religious position because he often challenged his congregation to be less narrow-minded about important topics.

Johns later directed the Maryland Baptist Center. Civil rights leaders, including Dr. King and Ralph D. Abernathy, often turned to Johns when they needed guidance. Johns died in 1965 in Washington D.C.



  • gamefly free trial May 2, 2019 - 5:08 pm

    If you want to grow your knowledge only keep visiting this website
    and be updated with the latest gossip posted here.

  • minecraft free May 12, 2019 - 2:11 am

    Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to
    check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Exceptional blog and excellent design and style.

  • download minecraft free May 16, 2019 - 8:25 pm

    I simply could not go away your web site prior to suggesting
    that I actually enjoyed the standard info a person supply for your guests?
    Is gonna be back steadily in order to investigate cross-check new posts

  • gamefly free trial May 27, 2019 - 12:16 am

    Hello I am so excited I found your weblog, I really found you by accident, while
    I was researching on Aol for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like
    to say many thanks for a marvelous post and a all
    round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but I have saved
    it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please
    do keep up the excellent jo.

  • Matlene June 1, 2019 - 5:47 am

    Canadian Pharmacy Quick Shipping Low Price Levitra Comprar Cialis Generico Foro

  • Matlene June 8, 2019 - 5:11 am

    Cialis Generika Europa Viagra Sildenafil Pfizer Cialis En El Mundo viagra Buy Cialis Online No Prescription

  • Matlene June 15, 2019 - 1:05 pm

    Viagra Quick Delivery Remoxy Amoxicillin Bangladesh Zithromax Syphilis Treatment viagra prescription Amoxicillin Antibiotics Weil

  • quest bars June 16, 2019 - 1:25 pm

    Hi there every one, here every one is sharing these knowledge,
    thus it’s pleasant to read this weblog, and I used to pay a quick visit
    this weblog every day.