Dream with Me

Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win

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"Justice is something every generation has to strive for."

A trailblazer in the civil rights movement, John M. Perkins led voter registration efforts in 1964, worked for school desegregation in 1967, and was jailed and tortured in 1970. He is no less zealous today as he sees a new generation of freedom fighters battling the same issues and the same systems he has spent his life working to correct.

Through his raw, personal stories spanning from the civil rights era to today, Perkins shows us that, though the fight is not over, there are many reasons to hope and to carry on the good work he and his contemporaries began more than a generation ago. He calls us to work for justice by living out God's redemptive love in all of our relationships.

"It all comes down to love," he says. "Love will always be our final fight."

"There aren't many people--other than Jesus and my wife--who I can say changed my life. John Perkins is one of them."--from foreword by Randy Alcorn

"At a time when the racial divide in the United States is widening into a chasm, I cannot think of a more needed message than this book."--Philip Yancey, bestselling Christian author/speaker

"The light from within Dr. John Perkins shines so brightly that you can't help but be impacted."--Judah Smith, lead pastor of The City Church; New York Times bestselling author

"This book reveals a critical narrative that must be engaged."--Soong-Chan Rah, author of The Next Evangelicalism and Return to Justice

John M. Perkins is cofounder of the Christian Community Development Association, and founder and president emeritus of the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation, Justice, and Christian Community Development in Jackson, Mississippi (www.jvmpf.org). An internationally known speaker and activist, he is the author of many books, including Let Justice Roll Down, named by Christianity Today as one of the top fifty books that have shaped evangelicals.


"I've known John Perkins for forty years. He is an icon in racial reconciliation and community development. More personally, John has had a lasting impact on me, helping to shine a healing light on my own latent racism. At a time when the racial divide in the United States is widening into a chasm, I cannot think of a more needed message than this book."

Philip Yancey, bestselling Christian author/speaker

"John Perkins is the father of the Christian reconciliation movement. He paved the way for those of us who have become leaders of reconciliation from a Christian perspective. His mantle of leadership is being passed on to those who follow him. Few people have demonstrated longevity and integrity in this work. John Perkins is one of those people, and I am honored to call him my father in the work of reconciliation. I highly recommend this book."

Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, author, Roadmap to Reconciliation

"The light from within Dr. John Perkins shines so brightly that you can't help but be impacted and changed once you've met him and listened to him share stories from his life. The love of Jesus that emanates from him is so real and true; it's living proof that he has won battles in his own life, overcoming incredible hate with supernatural love. He gives us all hope to believe that love really is the final fight that we can win. I am grateful for his life, leadership, and courage to share his story with us yet again, leaving his legacy of love for generations to come."

Judah Smith, lead pastor, The City Church; New York Times bestselling author, Jesus Is _____

"When historians look back at the story of the evangelical church in the United States, one of the shining lights will be the life and impact of Dr. John Perkins. Dr. Perkins's role in how American Christians returned to the biblical value of justice in the twentieth century cannot be overstated. This book reveals a critical narrative that must be engaged by those who seek the very best that American evangelicalism can be. To read the inside story and discover the profound move of God in Dr. Perkins's life and ministry is a gift you do not want to miss."

Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson professor of church growth and evangelism, North Park Theological Seminary; author, The Next Evangelicalism and Return to Justice

"John Perkins's new book, Dream with Me, is wonderful. Through John's dreams throughout his life, fantastic things have happened in our world. This book encourages me to dream big, and I highly recommend it for everyone. I love John, and I love his book!"

Reverend Dr. Wayne "Coach" Gordon, founding pastor, Lawndale Christian Community Church; president emeritus of the board of directors, Christian Community Development Association

"I lost my last grandfather in 1995, and since then I've had the honor of having Dr. Perkins (or 'Pops,' as I like to call him) as my adopted grandfather. Whatever credit I've received or good I've done in the area of race relations was inspired by Pops. I've merely followed the long, loving, and arduous yet Christ-exalting trail he has blazed--a trail I plan to continue trekking until God calls me home. As I journey onward, I will carry his vulnerable and heart-stirring book, Dream with Me, and return to it time and time again for inspiration and sustenance in the days ahead."

Bryan Loritts, lead pastor, Abundant Life Christian Fellowship; author, Saving the Saved

"Prophet, legend, lover of humanity--these are words that accurately describe John Perkins. His inspiring example, penetrating writing, and convicting oratory have shaped the history of his time. Dream with Me captures, in living color, revealing personal details of his legacy. A treasure."

Bob Lupton, community developer and author

"Dream with Me is an incredible peek into the life and motivation of a civil rights legend and lover of Jesus. This book has the feel of sitting on the front porch with your granddaddy. In these pages, John Perkins reveals the secret ingredient to his life's work and to justice in America--love. An absolute must-read!"

Albert Tate, pastor, Fellowship Monrovia

"Dr. John Perkins is a living legend! He's been a mentor, friend, and role model in my life for more than forty years. While there is today an ever-increasing chorus of people committed to racial reconciliation and justice, John Perkins was one among the few who spoke clearly and prophetically during a dark, challenging time. He literally laid his life on the line for the sake of truth, love, justice, and reconciliation. Thanks, John, for giving me and so many others the courage to press on. Although we may give recognition to people for their accomplishments, we honor them for what they have sacrificed. I love and honor you, my dear friend and mentor."

Dr. Crawford W. Loritts Jr., author; speaker; radio host; senior pastor, Fellowship Bible Church

"There's much to admire about Dr. John Perkins. We could list his talks, books, and accolades, but when I think about Dr. Perkins's leadership and legacy, I'm reminded that a life faithfully lived through hardships, trials, and messiness is one's greatest contribution. This is why I so appreciate his latest book, Dream with Me. His posture is not one of arrogance or accomplishment but, rather, of astonishment--at what God has done and what God can do in and among us. And in a world of so much pain, fear, and division, we need to desperately be reminded of God's reconciling truth, grace, and love."

Rev. Eugene Cho, pastor and humanitarian; author, Overrated

"Dr. Perkins is such a potent voice to a world in so much need. Dream with Me lays out the truth of living the full gospel, of counting the cost of loving whom Jesus loves and how Jesus loves. If anyone who calls Jesus Lord is remotely considering doing the work He's called us to, of doing justice, and living a life of reconciliation, then this is a must-read. What a beautiful blend of hard truth rooted in faith, hope, and love. Dr. Perkins has dedicated his life to this kind of sacrificial love and has remained unhardened. This book calls out the sin that divides us, while simultaneously pointing to the power of the Savior who has already paid the price to unite us. Dream with Me brings it all within reach."

Michael Patz, lead pastor, Greenhouse Church

"For over a half-century, John Perkins has led the call for people of faith to recognize that God requires justice for the poor and oppressed. Dr. Perkins is one of this nation's most powerful, persistent, and persuasive voices on how faith dies when it is blind to injustice, poverty, and suffering. This beautiful book is a great gift from a legendary, national treasure. I first heard John Perkins preach when I was a teenager in college over thirty years ago. His words stirred me in ways I can still recall. Dream with Me makes it clear that Dr. Perkins still has much to say to stir the soul."

Attorney Bryan Stevenson, executive director, Equal Justice Initiative

"Thirty-five years ago, I met John Perkins through the late Tom Skinner, his soul brother in ministry for an America that reflects God's redeeming, reconciling love for all people. That dream, told powerfully through John's amazing life's journey and ministry of help, healing, and hope, offers an authentic framework for addressing the systemic racism of our time. Dream with Me is a must-read for people of all races and backgrounds, who are dreaming and working toward an America united through every tribe, language, people, and nation!"

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, president, Skinner Leadership Institute

"In an age of painful polarization and divisive rhetoric, no other person in the United States today is more familiar with struggle, more intimate with forgiveness, or more credible to speak of love without distinctions than Dr. John M. Perkins. His invitation is not only to dream with him but, more significantly, to live as he lives and love as he loves. His experiential knowledge, thoughtful reflection, and tested wisdom are prophetic in nature and apostolic in tone. Dr. Perkins is a peacemaker. We would do well to listen to his words, hear his heart, and join him on the ancient path."

Dr. Mark DeYmaz, founding pastor, Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas; president, Mosaix Global Network; author, Disruption and Building a Healthy Multiethnic Church

The Author

  1. John M. Perkins

    John M. Perkins

    John M. Perkins is cofounder of the Christian Community Development Association and director of the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of many books, including Dream with Me and Let...

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