Perkins a sharecropper's son grew up in a small rural town in Mississippi amidst dire poverty. Perkins moved to California when he was 17 after his older brothers" murder at the hands of the town marshal. John M. Perkins vowed never to return. However, in 1960 after his conversion to Christianity, he returned to his boyhood home to share the gospel of Christ with his people. John's outspoken support and leadership role in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, imprisonment and beatings. Despite dropping out of school in the third grade, Perkins is recognized for his work with seven honorary doctorates from Wheaton College, Spring Arbor, Gordon College, Huntington College, Geneva College, Northpark College and Belhaven College. Now, at 73 years of age he is an international speaker and teacher on issues of racism and community development.
John M. Perkins's voice rang clearly through the halls of Community Church on Friday November 7, 2003, with a biblical ideology that can end racism forever. Beginning with the story in the mid sixties of two white social workers that were slain because of their supporting views on the civil rights movement. When dredging for their bodies in the river the authorities found eleven black men that were slain in the same manner. It did not bother the authorities about the other eleven bodies found because they were black and looking for the white social workers. That mentality spurred John to increase his activities with the truth through God's word.
Jesus broke the barriers of racism in Samaria in dealing with the Jews and Gentiles in a manner of equality. John chapter four verses 1-26, exemplifies the manner in which Jesus treated the Samaritan woman. It was law that a Jew would not associate with a Samaritan. However, Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water in return He would give her the opportunity for the living water, which will quench her thirst for eternity.