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John M. Perkins to Speak on Racial Reconciliation in Honor of MLK Appearance is Part of King’s Institute for Faith and Culture

January 9, 2019
John M. Perkins
A Christian minister, civil rights activist, author, philosopher and community developer.
John M. Perkins

John M. Perkins – a Christian minister, civil rights activist, author, philosopher and community developer – will speak as part of Bristol’s 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance. The annual celebration is presented by King University as part of its Institute for Faith and Culture.

Perkins will begin his visit on Monday, Jan. 21, with a 7 p.m. talk entitled “One Blood: the Gospel, Reconciliation, and Dr. King’s Legacy” at Lee Street Baptist Church. The following day, Tuesday, Jan. 22, he will present “Lament, Forgiveness, and Love: Christians and Racial Reconciliation” at 10 a.m. in the King University Memorial Chapel. Both talks are free and open to the public.

“We’re excited about partnering with Bristol’s Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, as well as Be the Bridge, to bring Dr. Perkins to speak on his many years of service to Christ through racial reconciliation,” said Martin Dotterweich, director of King’s Institute for Faith and Culture. “A remarkable thinker, preacher, and practitioner, he brings our students and community a powerful witness to the love and faith and hope for which Dr. King stood.”

Be the Bridge Bristol is a racial reconciliation group that seeks to bridge the racial divide, especially in the Church and society.

The son of a Mississippi sharecropper, Perkins moved to California as a young man to escape the brutal racism that had long plagued his family. He became an early pioneer of the civil rights movement and, while attending church with his son, converted to Christianity. He and his wife, Vera Mae, returned to Mississippi and established several ministries including Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), an organization dedicated to fostering multi-ethnic church planting, health care, education, leadership development, legal assistance and other services that transform communities.

He continues to serve as board chair emeritus of CCDA and is also founder and president emeritus of the John & Vera Mae Perkins Foundation for Justice, Reconciliation & Community Development. Additionally, he is the author of 15 books, including the autobiographical “Let Justice Roll Down” and, most recently, “One Blood,” in which he speaks honestly about reconciliation, discipleship and justice.

Tina McDaniel, development coordinator for Bristol’s YWCA and facilitator for Be the Bridge Bristol, said Perkin’s latest book changed her life.

“I recommend every pastor and church leader read what Dr. Perkins describes as his manifesto to the church,” she said.

Perkins has been honored with 15 honorary degrees.

To learn more about John M. Perkins, follow him on Twitter at @JohnMPerkins or on Facebook at @JohnMPerkinsFoundation. You may also visit his website at For additional information about the 2018-2019 King Institute for Faith and Culture, please go to or email


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctoral degrees. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit; for questions related to accreditation, contact SACSCOC at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA. 30033-4097, or call 404.679.4500. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.