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John and Vera Mae Perkins

Scholarship Foundation 

at On Ramps Covenant Church 



The John and Vera Mae Perkins philosophy is a community development concept.  It wasn’t developed in a classroom, nor formulated by those foreign to the poor community.  Their Biblical principles are practical and evolved from years of living and working among families living in their target area. 


John and Vera Mae Perkins helped start a day-care center, youth program, church, cooperative farm, thrift store, housing repair ministry, a health center, and an adult education program. John and Vera Mae also organized their communities during the Civil Rights era.  With marches, community action and bravely taking a stand in their own personal lives, John and Vera Mae led the way for civil disobedience.  Their children were some of the first students to integrate their local schools and they sheltered the difficulties of that time together as a family. John was brutally beaten by law enforcement during this time.  He was imprisoned after he attempted to free black college students from Tougaloo College and Jackson State University who had been jailed for freedom marching with the Perkins.

The John M. Perkins Foundation, started in 1983, has worked hard to engage the local community in Jackson and also spread a message of reconciliation and development across the United States. Their organization has also been instrumental on the world stage. Recently, the John M. Perkins Foundation changed its name to the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation to honor the contributions of John’s wife, Dr. Vera Mae.  While John traveled the United States and world spreading the message of reconciliation and justice, Dr. Vera Mae Perkins worked tirelessly to nurture his ministry and keep the home-fires burning.[1]  



[1] “Our History,” John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation. Retrieved from on March 2, 2021

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