Who is Thomas A. Tarrants, III?
Tom Tarrants was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. As a high
school student in the mid-sixties he opposed the desegregation of
the public schools and eventually joined the Ku Klux Klan.By the
age of 21, he was a full-fledged racist and anti-Semite and was
a terrorist in the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, at that time
described by the FBI as the most violent right-wing terrorist organization
in America. After a bloody shoot-out with the police and FBI, in
which his partner was killed and he nearly died, Tom was arrested.
He was eventually sentenced to thirty years in the Mississippi State
Penitentiary, one of the worst in the nation at that time. A few
months later, he escaped from prison, but was later apprehended
by the FBI after another shoot-out in which one of his accomplices
While reading the Gospels in prison, Tom experienced a life-changing
conversion to Jesus Christ. He subsequently renounced the Klan,
with its racism and hatred, and devoted himself to serving Christ
and promoting the love and peace that Christ alone can give. He
was incarcerated for eight years.
After his release from prison, Tom attended the University of
Mississippi, and later attended seminary, graduating with a Masters
of Divinity degree. He is the author of The Conversion of a Klansman
(Doubleday, 1978), and is co-author, with Dr. John Perkins, of He’s
My Brother (Baker/Chosen, 1995). He has written articles for
Christianity Today, Tabletalk and Kingdom Quarterly,
and been the subject of documentaries by ABC, CNN and Dutch Television.
He has served as Campus Minister at George Mason University, as
Co-Director of the School for Urban Mission in Washington, D.C.
and as Co-Pastor of Christ our Shepherd Church in Washington, D.C.
He is now President of C.
S. Lewis Institute and is also pursuing doctoral studies in
Christian Spirituality at Fuller Theological Seminary. The focus
of his ministry over the years has been in preaching, teaching,
Tom has lived in the Washington, D.C. area since 1978