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The 3 R's Philosophy: John M. Perkins' Holistic Approach to Community Development

"The three R's are not separate entities, but are organically connected to each other. We cannot have reconciliation without redistribution, and we cannot have redistribution without relocation."

John M. Perkins

Dr. John M. Perkins: A Legacy of Community Transformation

From Tragedy to Activism

Born in Mississippi in 1930, Dr. John M. Perkins overcame early life tragedies, including the loss of his mother and the murder of his brother, to become a leading voice in Christian community development and racial reconciliation.

Ministry and Impact

After moving to California and returning to Mississippi, Perkins co-founded the Voice of Calvary Ministries in the 1960s, initiating his lifelong mission to combat poverty and discrimination through education, economic empowerment, and spiritual growth.

Influential Leader and Author

A pivotal figure in the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), Perkins has authored several books, including "Let Justice Roll Down," sharing his philosophy on community development and racial reconciliation.

A Continuing Mission

Even into his nineties, Dr. Perkins's voice remains influential in discussions on justice, leadership, and community renewal. His work embodies the Gospel's power to transform communities through principles of relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution.


Dr. Perkins's story is a testament to the power of resilience and the impact one individual can have on the healing and growth of entire communities, inspiring generations to pursue justice and unity.

Transforming Communities with Compassion and Empowerment

Embracing the Journey Towards Sustainable Change

In the intricate tapestry of community development, the words of Bob Lupton, a visionary community developer from Atlanta, echo a profound truth: "It’s not hard to create a ghetto... Just remove the capable neighbors." This stark realization highlights a systemic issue seen across numerous communities in the United States, where the withdrawal of influential individuals has led to cycles of poverty, dependency, and hopelessness. This condition is further magnified by longstanding federal interventions and educational monopolies, failing to address the core needs of these communities.

Dr. John M. Perkins, a Baptist minister and chairman of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), confronts these challenges with a message of hope and renewal. Perkins advocates for a holistic approach to poverty alleviation, one that transcends material needs and seeks to instill moral, spiritual, and economic leadership within communities. His vision is clear: to inspire individuals to embrace their potential and work collectively towards the revitalization of their neighborhoods.

A Call to Action: Relocation, Reconciliation, Redistribution

Perkins introduces the "three R’s of community development" as the cornerstone of this transformative journey:

  • Relocation: Perkins stresses the significance of living among those in need, sharing their experiences, and collectively working towards improvement. This principle encourages both returning community members and newcomers to invest personally in the area's growth, fostering a sense of unity and shared destiny.

  • Reconciliation: At the heart of Perkins's message is the reconciliation of individuals to God and each other. This process entails dismantling barriers of race, ethnicity, and economy, urging communities to unite in addressing their common challenges.

  • Redistribution: Contrary to notions of compulsory redistribution, Perkins champions a voluntary sharing of resources, knowledge, and skills to empower communities. This approach emphasizes personal responsibility, economic development, and the nurturing of local enterprises.

Empowering Communities Through Compassion and Innovation

Perkins's work and the broader mission of the CCDA illustrate a powerful paradigm shift in addressing poverty: one that values the dignity of every individual and leverages the strength of community ties. Through faith-driven initiatives and grassroots efforts, there is a growing momentum towards solutions that are sustainable, inclusive, and empowering.

As we reflect on these insights, we are reminded of the potential within each community to foster change and prosperity. By committing to the principles of relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution, we can all contribute to a future where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to their community's success.

Join us in this mission to uplift and transform communities through the power of unity, compassion, and shared responsibility. Together, we can pave the way for a brighter, more equitable future for all.

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