John Perkins to speak at Northwestern

John Perkins, an international speaker and teacher on issues of Christian community development and racial reconciliation, will visit Northwestern College Nov. 17 and 18 during the college’s Global Vision Week.

Perkins will give three addresses during his time at Northwestern. He will speak in chapel Monday, Nov. 17, at 10:05 a.m. and Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 11:05 a.m. He will also give an evening address Tuesday at 7. All three sessions are open to the public and will take place in Christ Chapel.

Perkins is the founder and president of the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development, established to advance the principles of Christian community development and racial reconciliation throughout the world. Although he dropped out of school in the third grade, he holds honorary doctorates from Wheaton and eight other colleges and served on the boards for World Vision, Prison Fellowship, and the National Association of Evangelicals. He is also the author of nine books, including Let Justice Roll Down and A Time to Heal.

Born in 1930 as the son of a Mississippi sharecropper, Perkins grew up in poverty. After an encounter with Christ changed his life, he devoted more than 40 years to ministry among the poor. Among the Christian community development ministries he founded are Mendenhall Ministries in Mendenhall, Miss.; Voice of Calvary Ministries in Jackson, Miss.; and the Harambee Christian Family Center in Pasadena, Calif.

In 1989 he called together a group of Christian leaders committed to expressing the love of Christ in America’s poor communities. The result was the establishment of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), which today has grown to 6,800 individuals and 600 churches, ministries, institutions and businesses in more than 100 cities across the country.

Northwestern students have worked with CCDA ministries as interns and through the college’s Spring Service Project program. Those students will be joining Perkins for lunch during his visit. He will also meet with Northwestern’s Multi-Ethnic Resource Team, multicultural connection interns, and staff of the college’s Franken Center for Faith, Learning and Living.