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Perkins, the son of a sharecropper, grew up in Mississippi amid dire poverty and rampant racism. Though he had fled to California after his older brother was murdered by a town marshal, he returned after his conversion to Christ in 1960 to share the gospel with his community. His leadership of civil rights demonstrations earned him repeated harassment, beatings and imprisonment. (Practical Life)
JOHN PERKINS has ministered among the poor for 40 years. He founded Mendenhall Ministries, Voice of Calvary Ministries and the Harambee Christian Family Center and Preparatory School and was cofounder of the Christian Community Development Association. He was the publisher of Urban Family Magazine and author of nine books. Despite dropping out of school after the third grade, he holds 8 honorary doctorates recognizing his outstanding leadership in racial reconciliation and Christian community development. He and his wife Vera Mae live in Mississippi.