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Tom Tarrants

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 was killed.

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 Hes 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, and discipling.

Tom has lived in the Washington, D.C. area since 1978

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