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. 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.
LEADER: Anthony has over 25 years of public service, leading at the highest levels of the federal government. He has also served on many boards in the private and public sectors, including the boards of Virginia Tech University and College of Natural Resources (Blacksburg, VA). Currently, he serves on the boards of Maryland Governor's State Parks Community Advisory Committee and Maryland Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution (2016-present). He coaches leaders from every background and from many locations, including civil servants, community leaders, and pastors STRATEGIST: Anthony's commitment to seeing organizations achieve their best has caused him to partner with many organizations in providing strategic plans, business practices, and conflict resolution programs. He partnered with Common Ground Church (Jackson, MS) to help them develop Common Ground Community Development Corporation. Together, they have built several community enterprises, which include a lawn care service, barber shop/beauty salon, and mentoring programs. EDUCATOR: Anthony's call to serve propels him to share experiences with others through lectures, courses, and workshops. He has also served as an adjunct professor in Christian Leadership and Diversity at Greenville College (Greenville, IL) and as an instructor in Leadership and Workplace Conflicts at Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution (Greenbelt, MD). FORMAL EDUCATION AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Anthony received academic training from Bowie State University (Historically Black University- Bowie, MD), where he completed his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He continued his education at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD), where he earned his Master's degree in Government. He is a certified mediator and facilitator for the Department of the Interior, as well as a certified contracting officer (Washington, DC). He is proud to have been selected as part of the 2013 Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) Leadership Cohort (Chicago, IL). This cohort is "designed to bring together CCD leaders who are demonstrating leadership in their local communities and beyond. He is an ordained minister, and the greatest joy in his life is his family. He currently resides in Clinton, Maryland, with his wife of 18 years, Stephanie, and their two children, Rebekah and Isaiah.
Wayne Gordon is cofounder of the Christian Community Development Association and lead pastor of Lawndale Community Church in inner-city Chicago where he has ministered for thirty years. He is cofounder of the Lawndale Christian Health Center and teaches at several colleges and seminaries. He and his wife, Anne, have three adult children.