Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s ties to the Scenic City
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fill downtown Chattanooga. From MLK Boulevard to a massive building mural, to the Tennessee Aquarium plaza, he left his mark on the Scenic City.
His famous words, "Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain Tennessee" are forever engraved in history.
However, what many don't know is before the civil rights movement began, Dr. King looked to make Chattanooga's First Baptist Church his home.
"He was one of two ministers who were considered for the pastorate of this church in the late, mid 50s," says Pastor William Ladd.
During that time Ladd says he frequently preached love and non violence to church members and that message still thrives today.
"Being a Moorehouse graduate and being in Atlanta, I think his influence on my preaching, prophetic preaching, I think is very evident," says Ladd.
However, King has another tie to Chattanooga. Second Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Paul A. McDaniel personally knew King while he attended school at Moorehouse College.
"On campus there was a ministers group. I joined that group and we got to know each other through that process," says McDaniel.
He says the biggest life lesson he took away from his time with King was courage.
"I think I got the strength from that to also challenge myself to be courageous in the midst of those experiences," says McDaniel.
Community leaders hope this new finding will invigorate King's dream and message in Chattanooga's future, the youth.
"There is a movement in this country and in this town, maybe, to forget the civil right movement. We act as if it never happened," says Eddie Holmes.
"I think Chattanoogans do not need to let his message die," Ladd says.