Dexter Parsonage Museum
This small museum is located in the parsonage that was home to Martin Luther King Jr. and Vernon Johns. During his early tenure in Montgomery, King and his family lived at this home prior to the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The home was also repeatedly bombed by white supremacists during the years of King's leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The home today is open to the public to view historical exhibits related to Vernon Johns, Martin Luther King, Jr. and other African Americans in Montgomery.
Backstory and Context
Martin Luther King Jr. served as the minister at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church from 1954 to 1960 and also lived at this home. After the arrest of Rosa Parks in 1955, King was asked to lend his church to activists so that they could have a meeting to discuss a possible boycott of the city bus system. King was asked to lead the boycott which was organized by many of the women of the city. The boycott lasted 381 days as black women and men financially crippled the municipal bus system. The police chief publicly supported a white supremacist group, emboldening terrorists to bomb the parsonage during the early weeks of the boycott. The house was bombed one more time in 1957. All seven perpetrators were eventually caught, but all were acquitted by a jury.
The home is dedicated to King and Johns and other ministers of the church. The house is made to appear much as it would have when the King family lived in the home. In addition to exhibits and artifacts, visitors can still view some of the damage from the bombings of this home.
Luker, Ralph E.. Johns the Baptist. Ralph Luker. Accessed December 09, 2017. http://www.ralphluker.com/vjohns/baptist.html.
Curry, Dodson M. Minister's Home / Dr. Martin Luther King. HMdb- The Historical Marker Database. March 04, 2010. Accessed December 09, 2017. https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=86132.
Burns, Sarah F.. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR’S PARSONAGE HOME IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA. House Crazy. April 05, 2013. Accessed December 09, 2017. http://www.house-crazy.com/martin-luther-king-jrs-parsonage-home-in-montgomery-alabama/.