JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – Tuesday he was awarded the Medal of Service by Governor Haley Barbour.
The next day the rock band Switchfoot traveled to Jackson for a benefit concert for Dr. John M. Perkins at Belhaven University.
Alternative rock band Switchfoot took the stage at Center for the Arts Concert Hall to help raise money for the John M. Perkins Foundation for reconciliation and development.
The San Diego band members met the civil rights leader and ministry founder in 2009 after the band's lead guitarist Jon Foreman read his book Let Justice Roll Down.
The book is about racial reconciliation from a biblical perspective.
"It was a story we had never heard, and we couldn't believe that our generation didn't know this story," said Switchfoot bass guitarist Tim Foreman.
Foreman's brother lead guitarist Jon Foreman first read the book then shared it with the band.
The group was so inspired that they wrote the song "The Sound-John M. Perkins Blues".
"What we took away is that love is louder than violence, louder than hatred, louder than racism and here's a man whose been oppressed growing up in the south, and he chose a path of love," said Foreman .
Dr. Perkins' book about his life and struggles growing up in the segregated south was published in 1976.
"It so moved him that he said why is the world not responding to this message. He said 'I'm gonna make the world read this book, and so I'm gonna write a song we call The Sound," said Perkins.
The song is on Switchfoot's seventh album "Hello Hurricane" and is now number seven on the rock music chart.
In May the group featured Perkins in the music video.
This concert is to raise funds to replace about $15,000.00 worth of stolen music equipment which was used by children who attend the Perkins Foundation Community Center on Robinson Street in west Jackson.
"Dr. Perkins has lived for the cause of loving others. Not loving just the oppressed but the oppressor which is so inspiring," added Foreman.
Switchfoot's next performance is Friday in at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
To learn more about the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation call 601-354-1563 or log onto www.JVMPF.org.
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