Perkins to bring message of community, selflessness

Huntington, Ind.—Dr. John M. Perkins, founder of the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development Inc., will speak at the Conference on Christianity, Culture and Diversity in America on Nov. 14-16, hosted by Huntington University.

Perkins’ message resolves around the theme that American culture has urged the individual to focus on themselves instead of others, causing each person within the community to turn their attention inward and neglect caring for others.

“There is no foresight when we are only living for ourselves,” he said. “We need to start back at the neighborhood level…and begin to witness with the community that is the church.”

Perkins left his home state of Mississippi at age 17 after his older brother was murdered by a town marshal. After converting to Christianity in 1960 at age 30, he returned to Mississippi to preach the gospel and fight for civil rights. He has founded four full-time ministries, a magazine and an elementary preparatory school for inner-city children. He also authored nine books and is an international speaker, teaching on leadership, racial reconciliation and community building.

His work has earned him seven honorary doctorates from Belhaven, Geneva, Gordon and Wheaton colleges as well as Huntington, North Park and Spring Arbor universities.

Most recently, he was recognized with the Jordon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association for “exceptional contributions to the Christian publishing industry.”

A good friend once asked Perkins to give his son the most important advice he ever received in life, and Perkins told him to “never stop believing you were made in the image of God.” If people embrace this truth, they will not revert to racism, individualism or a prejudice toward others of a different socio-economic status, he said.

“It is when we stray from that truth that prejudice and racism creep up on us,” Perkins said.

The Conference on Christianity, Culture and Diversity in America will address the growing issues of diversity in America, which range from race, ethnicity, gender, culture and religion, to age and the physically challenged-all from a Christian worldview. Given this, the plenary speakers and other presenters will share research that embodies the themes of Christianity, culture and diversity. Perkins will speak during plenary sessions at 8:45 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. on Nov. 15.

To register for the conference, log on to

For further details, contact conference chair Susie Burson, assistant professor of education, at (260) 359-4150.

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


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