John M. Perkins visits George Fox for peacemaking forum
John M. Perkins, president and founder of the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development and one of the leading evangelical voices to come out of the American civil rights movement, will speak at George Fox University’s annual Woolman Peacemaking Forum Feb. 10-11. The forum’s theme is “Are We Achieving Racial Justice and Reconciliation?”
Perkins was born into Mississippi poverty the son of a sharecropper. He fled to California at 17 after his older brother was murdered by the town marshal. Although he originally vowed never to return, in 1960 he returned to his boyhood home to share the gospel. His outspoken support and leadership role in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, imprisonment and beatings.
Perkins' itinerary at George Fox is as follows:
Wednesday, Feb. 10
- “Follow Me to Freedom,” 10:40 a.m. chapel service, Bauman Auditorium
- “The High and Low Points of Five Decades of Work for Racial Justice,” Woolman Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Hoover Academic Building (Room 105)
Thursday, Feb. 11
- “Justice as an Essential Part of Discipleship,” 8:40-10:30 a.m., Edwards-Holman Science Center (Room 125)
- “Leading as an Ordinary Radical,” noon to 1:15 p.m., Cap and Gown Room
- “Follow Me to Freedom: Leading and Following as an Ordinary Radical” (book discussion), following Cap and Gown presentation
All Woolman Peacemaking Forum events are free and open to the public.
Perkins is an internationally known author, speaker and teacher on issues of racial reconciliation, leadership, and Christian community development. For his efforts, he has received honorary doctorates from Wheaton College, Gordon College, Huntington College, Geneva College, Spring Arbor University, North Park College and Belhaven College.
He is the author of nine books, including “A Quiet Revolution,” “Resurrecting Hope,” “Justice Roll Down” and “A Time to Heal.”
Perkins has formally served on the board of directors at World Vision, Prison Fellowship, National Association of Evangelicals, Spring Arbor University, and 15 other boards. He and his wife, Vera Mae Perkins, have started several Christian community development ministries, including Voice of Calvary Ministries and Harambee Christian Family Center.
In 1982, the Perkins established the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development for the purpose of supporting their mission of advancing the principles of Christian community development and racial reconciliation throughout the world.
The Woolman Peacemaking Forum is named after John Woolman, an 18th century Quaker. It was established in 1986 and is sponsored by the George Fox University Center for Peace and Justice. Its aim is to bring leading peacemakers to George Fox University to encourage people to invest their lives and energies in the pursuit of peace, and to prepare student to mirror the example of Christ in human relationships.