Covenant pastor John “Big John” Perkins passed away on March 25 in Jackson, Mississippi. He was 38.
Big John was born in Jackson on August 9, 1984, to parents Phillip and Eva Perkins. As a young man, he played defensive tackle for Forest Hill High School, where he eventually graduated in 2002. His athletic abilities earned him a full athletic scholarship to Hinds Community College, where he earned an associate’s degree. He also earned a culinary arts certificate from Keiser College in Tallahassee, Florida.
John and his wife, Patrice, met in 2005 at the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) Youth Conference in Jackson. They eventually married in Chicago on September 2, 2006. They had three children, John Phillip Jr. (“John-John”), Sarah Patrice, and Johnathan Carey.
Big John was known for his infectious laugh and knack for hospitality, which included a love for preparing food for others. As a young man, he started 4C’s Catering with his dear brother in Christ Phillip Brown. By the age of 22, he was the youngest executive chef in the state of Mississippi. Big John continued as a chef throughout his ministry career.
From 2009 to 2014, John served under his grandfather at the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation, eventually serving as executive director of its youth-outreach arm, the Spencer Perkins Center, named after John’s late uncle. He was also licensed for ministry by the Southeast Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. In 2014, John and Patrice, along with other faithful family and friends, planted Common Ground Covenant Church in Jackson.
Big John had a larger-than-life personality and was passionate in his desire to see families restored in the West Jackson community.
John was preceded in death by his uncle Spencer Perkins. He is survived by Patrice, children John Jr., Sarah, and Johnathan; brother David (Chariti) of Byram, Mississippi, and sister Toneasha Slater of Cincinnati Ohio; stepsister DeAnna (Andre) Johnson of Byram, father Phillip (Alice), grandmother Julia Bell Hamilton of Clinton, Mississippi, grandparents Drs. John M. and Vera Mae Perkins, and a host of family and friends throughout Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, California, and the rest of the United States.
His celebration of life service is Friday, April 1, at New Horizon Church in Jackson. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Big John Perkins Memorial Fund.
Peace be to his memory.