Perkins Ministry Legacy Program

2017-18 Perkins Fellow and 5/8 Club volunteer Evan Heitman (far right, second row) chaperons a field trip to a UVA men’s soccer game.

Program Background

In 1960, during the Jim Crow era, John and Vera Mae Perkins and their five kids left the comforts and safety of California to go back to their hometown of Mendenhall, Mississippi. The Perkins family lived and promoted the “three R’s” philosophy of ministry: relocation, redistribution, and reconciliation. This work inspired many and was the impetus to the formation of the Christian Community Development Association in 1989.

John Perkins built his ministry from the foundation of reaching out to children with the Gospel through summer camps he called Bible Clubs. This approach to ministry has parallels to the ministry of Jesus Christ when he turned the tables on the cultural norms of his time by prioritizing the children in his midst as the ones who had faith to believe his message (Mark 10:13-15).

Program Description

In partnership with Theological Horizons, the Perkins Ministry Legacy Program is an opportunity to learn and engage in transformative multicultural Christian Community Development (CCD) ministry in Charlottesville through Abundant Life. Perkins Fellows engage in vocational discernment through learning the core principles of CCD through workshops, trainings, discussion groups, and 1:1 mentorship over the course of the school year. Simultaneously, Fellows, in the spirit of John and Vera Mae Perkins, will plan for and implement the Abundant Life Bible Club program with supervision from an Abundant Life staff person.

Abundant Life/Perkins Fellowship is accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year to fill 4-6 slots for the Perkins Ministry Legacy Program at Abundant Life. Perkins Fellows will serve roughly 6 hours a week with required availability each Friday from 2-5pm. Bible Club will take place the Friday before Fall and Spring break, but no expectation for Fellows to run Bible Club during Spring Break.