Dr. John M. Perkins

Dr. John M.
PERKINS

President of The John M. Perkins Foundation

SpencerPerkinsCenter.org


In 1983, while in California, John Perkins and his wife, Vera Mae Perkins along with a few friends and other major supporters, established the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development, Inc. for the sole purpose of supporting their mission of advancing the principles of Christian community development and racial reconciliation throughout the world. The Foundation is now headquartered at 1831 Robinson St. in Jackson, MS with a mission to “develop the lives of youth, leaders and the underprivileged in our community and around the world, by setting an example of God’s love to further his Kingdom.”

John M. Perkins was born a sharecropper’s son who grew up in New Hebron, Mississippi amidst dire poverty. Fleeing to California at age 17 after his older brother’s murder at the hands of a town marshal, he vowed never to return. However after converting to Christianity in 1960 he returned to Mendenhall, Mississippi to share the gospel of Christ. While in Mississippi, his outspoken nature and support and leadership in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, beatings and imprisonment. He again was arrested in 2005 while protesting in Washington D.C. against U. S. Government defunding of programs aiding the poor.

In Mendenhall, Perkins and his wife, Vera Mae, founded Voice of Calvary Ministries. This Christian community development ministry started a church, health center, leadership development program, thrift store, low-income housing development, and training center. From this ministry, other development projects started in the neighboring towns of Canton, New Hebron and Edwards. Philip K. Reed, the previous pastor of Voice of Calvary Fellowship, has assumed the leadership of this dynamic ministry.

In 1982, the Perkins family returned to California and lived in the city of Pasadena where Perkins and his wife founded Harambee Christian Family Center in Northwest Pasadena, a neighborhood that had one of the highest daytime crime rates in California. Harambee is yet standing, running numerous programs including after school tutoring, Good News Bible Clubs, an award-winning technology center, summer day camp, youth internship programs, and a college scholarship program.

In 1989, John Perkins called together a group of Christian leaders from across America that was bonded by one significant commitment—expressing the love of Christ in America’s poor communities, not at arms length, but at the grass-roots level. An association was formed and the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) held its first annual conference in Chicago in 1989. CCDA has grown from 37 founding members to 6,800 individuals and 600 churches, ministries, institutions and businesses in more than 100 cities and townships across the country.

Despite being a third grade drop-out, Perkins has been recognized for his work with eleven honorary doctorates from colleges and universities across the country and two universities have established John Perkins centers. He is an international speaker and teacher on racial reconciliation, leadership and the philosophy of ministry known as Christian Community Development.

The purpose of the Kainos 2015 is to gather leaders who either seek to start multi-ethnic ministries or churches, or who aspire to transition their current homogenous ministries into a multi-ethnic trajectory.

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