Perkins, John 
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John M. Perkins was born in 1930 to Mississippi sharecroppers. Although he was not religious growing up, he converted to Christianity in November 1957 while attending a Churches of God (Holiness) Bible study. During this period, he realized that Christian evangelism needed to address both the spiritual and physical needs of people.

His Christian social justice initiatives began to take shape in 1964, when he founded the Voice of Calvary Ministries in Mendenhall, Miss. The parachurch group provided education, job skills and nutrition to people. Over time, it also incorporated a housing co-op, thrift stores and health care centers to further address various needs. His 1982 book, With Justice for All depicts his ministry and the "three R’s of community development:" relocation (to poor communities), reconciliation and redistribution (of resources).

He also participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. His activism led to beatings and arrests on more than one occasion.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Holiness Family
Holiness Family: Other ARDA Links

Rise of Equal Rights Movements
Civil Rights Movement

John Perkins preaching- Flickr- photo by Mozul (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

John M Perkins portrait- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Jray0203 (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Murphy, Larry, J. Gordon Melton, and Gary Ward, 1993. Encyclopedia of African American Religions. New York: Garland.
Web Source(s)
"Models of effective compassion: Dr. John M. Perkins and 'the three R's of community development,'" by Michael Barkey, June 29, 2000.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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