John M. Perkins will be honored with Biola University’s 2019 Charles W. Colson Conviction and Courage award to recognize his life of service on Feb. 22. Perkins is an internationally known author, speaker and teacher on issues of racial reconciliation, leadership and Christian community development. Biola President Barry H. Corey will present Perkins with the award at Biola’s Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation (SCORR).
“John Perkins is a giant of the faith who speaks clearly, prophetically and biblically,” said Corey. “I am proud that Biola will be honoring this heroic 88-year-old from Mississippi with the Charles Colson Award for Conviction and Courage this year.”
Recipients of the Colson Award have chosen a life of serving God no matter what challenges they face or difficulties they have to overcome. Perkins is an American Christian minister, civil rights activist, Bible teacher, author, philosopher and community developer. He was born into poverty as the son of a Mississippi sharecropper and fled to California at the age of 17 after his older brother was murdered by a town marshal. In 1960, he accepted Christ and returned to Mississippi to share the gospel. He faced repeated harassment, imprisonment and beatings as a result of his outspoken support and leadership role in civil rights demonstrations. Today, he is one of the leading evangelical voices to come out of the American civil rights movement.
Perkins is the founder and President Emeritus of the John & Vera Mae Perkins Foundation with his wife Vera Mae Perkins and co-founder of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). He has authored and co-authored numerous books, including “With Justice for All,” and “Let Justice Roll Down.” His latest book is “One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love.”
Biola established the Charles W. Colson Conviction and Courage Award in 2014, in consultation with the Colson family, to honor the legacy of the late Christian leader Charles “Chuck” Colson, whose convictions align with Biola’s mission to equip men and women in mind and character to impact the world for Christ by living lives of conviction and courage. Biola honored the legacy of the late Colson by awarding him the inaugural award at the university’s commencement in May 2014. The award honors Colson’s legacy and celebrates Christian leaders who live in the same fashion.
Perkins has been recognized for his work with 14 honorary doctorate degrees from schools including Belhaven University, Lynchburg College, Wheaton College, Gordon College, Taylor University and Northern Seminary. He has served on the board of directors for both World Vision and Prison Fellowship.
Perkins will receive the award in person at Biola’s SCORR conference on Friday, Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m. on Biola’s campus in La Mirada, Calif. Perkins is also a keynote speaker at SCORR which starts on Feb. 21.