John M. Perkins

“If I get out of this jail alive, I want to preach a gospel strong enough to destroy this madness and hatred.” These are the words of John M. Perkins, civil rights hero and one of the most important American Christians in the last one hundred years. 

John uttered these words as he mopped up his own blood after having been beaten and tortured by white police officers in the Brandon Jail in Mississippi. He had come to the jail to check on 19 African-American students who had been arrested for participating in the Mendenhall march and boycott. He was arrested himself and subjected to frightening brutality in an effort by the authorities to crush the boycott. 

John overcame brutality with love and not only did his boycott succeed, he went on to build a ministry that worked for justice, peace, and reconciliation that continues to this day. Listen to his story, as his life not only points to the reconciling power of the gospel, it calls us to a deeper understanding of God’s love and justice.

“Love and justice are one and the same. Justice is the motivation for God’s redemption.”

Here’s a video introduction to his life: Redemption: The John M. Perkins Story

And here’s some summer reading, books written by John M. Perkins:

Let Justice Roll Down 

The story of John Perkins is no ordinary story. Rather, it is a gripping portrayal of what happens when faith thrusts a person into the midst of a struggle against racism, oppression, and injustice. It is about the costs of discipleship—the jailings, the floggings, the despair, and the sacrifice.

One Blood

One Blood looks at everything from lament and forgiveness to racial tensions and mutual fear. And most importantly, you’ll learn how to walk forward on the path toward oneness in Christ. As racial tensions rise, the world needs the church to lead now more than ever. But true leadership starts with listening

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