Reconcilers Fellowship, following the death of founder Spencer Perkins, has decided to close, as cofounder Chris Rice goes to seminary.
Rice is leaving Jackson, Mississippi, where he has lived for 18 years, to seek a new direction. Rice, 38, originally came to do volunteer work for Voice of Calvary Ministries, a Christian community-improvement ministry. "For the first time in my life, I saw people making very radical decisions because of their faith in God," says Rice. "Blacks and whites were working together to make a difference in the community."
Rice soon developed a friendship with Spencer Perkins, son of Voice of Calvary founder John Perkins. Their families lived down the hall from each other in a Christian community they called Antioch. Six black and white families lived under one roof, shared incomes, and ate together each night.
In addition, Rice and Perkins became business partners and wrote More than Equals: Racial Healing for the Sake of the Gospel (InterVarsity Press, 1993), later taking their message of reconciliation across the country. The twosome also founded Reconcilers Fellowship, which published Reconcilers magazine.
In January, Perkins died of a heart attack at age 43 (CT, March 2, 1998, p. 73). "Spencer and I were more than friends," says Rice. "We had a real relationship that dealt with race, but transcended race. We were truly reconciled."
Reconcilers will soon publish its final edition. Also, the Antioch Community will disband and sell its six acres and two homes as families go their separate ways.
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