Known as one of the most effective advocates of nonviolence and direct action as a method of social reform, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on 15 January 1929. King's roots were in the African-American Baptist church, much like his father, Martin Luther King Sr, who was the pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church. After attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, King went on to study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and later at Boston University. This is where he studied his trademark action, non-violent protest as an effective social reform. He became an expert of the life and work of Mahatma Ghandi, and patterned his own life, much like that of Mahatma Ghandi. .
King married Coretta Scott in 1953, and the following year he accepted the position to be a pastor, like his father, at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King continued to study, and later received his Ph.D. in systematic theology in 1955. The next thing that happened is something that King never would have predicted, this young pastor was in for something much bigger than he had ever imagined .
On 5 December 1955, an African-American women who frequented the Montgomery bus system, refused to give up her seat to a white man after a hard day of work. Rosa Parks was immediately hailed a civil rights activist for refusing to comply with this segregation policy on Montgomery's buses. Black residents in the area launched a bus boycott against Montgomery Bus Company. King was quickly elected president of the newly-formed Montgomery Improvement Association. The boycott continued throughout 1956 and King inadvertently gained national prominence for his role in the bus boycott. Eventually, this war among Montgomery citizens reached the Supreme Court. Where it was officially declared Alabama's segregation laws unconstitutional and Montgomery buses were finally desegregated.
Seeking to build upon the success in Montgomery, King and other southern black ministers founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957.