John P. Perkins is the Lead Pastor of Common Ground Covenant Church, a multi-ethnic missional church in Jackson, MS. John developed his vision for Common Ground while serving as the President and CEO of the Spencer Perkins Center and John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation, a Christian non-profit that focused on youth and community development in the heart of West Jackson. “My heart bleeds for the fathers and families in our West Jackson community.” His commitment to meeting the “holistic’ needs of his neighbors in West Jackson, where John lives with his bride, Patrice of 12 years and 3 children, John-John(10), Sarah(8) and Johnathan(4). His family, whom John refers to as his “first flock,” works together in hopes of undergirding Common Ground’s mission of Christian Community Development.
Prior to his time in ministry John served as the Executive Chef/Conference Services Manager for Valley Food Services at Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond, MS. It was there while feeding people that he felt a new calling through the message as conveyed through the Gospel of John to “Feed my sheep.” Jesus’ command to Peter moved John to not only meet people’s physical need, but to meet the spiritual and emotional needs as well.
Pastor John’s heart for community and economic development has led Common Ground in efforts to blend church and community by engaging in partnerships with local business, schools, and churches in urban West Jackson. Recognizing, while shepherding, the most felt need for many of his congregation was jobs led to establishing Common Ground Enterprises which currently has a catering business, lawn care service, and barbershop & beauty salon. John has recently developed, Common Ground Community Development Corporation which will focus on education, work-force development, and housing. “We will continue finding and creating resources, so that Common Ground can continue to take the holistic Gospel message to the under-served people of our urban West Jackson and the rest of the world” The vision for Common Ground CDC is to affect change in people’s hearts so they can create communities which reflect the Kingdom of God. As a representative of the next generation of Christian leaders he is excited to further this work of Christian Community Development.