July 29

Clarence Jordan Born

July 29, 1912 - Talbotton, Sumter

The good work of Habitat for Humanity can be traced back to a progressive religious leader born on this day in 1912.

Clarence Jordan was born in Talbotton. After studying agriculture at the University of Georgia, he became an ordained Baptist minister. Believing that God regarded people of all races as equals, Jordan combined his agricultural training and his ministry to establish Koinonia Farm. It was an interracial Christian community in Sumter County.

Black and white members worked the land as equals and pooled their resources into a common treasury. White locals disliked this race-mixing commune. The farm became the target of violence, intimidation, and even legal prosecution.

Koinonia barely survived, but in 1968, with the help of Millard Fuller, the farm became Koinonia Partners and started a low-cost housing program that eventually became Habitat for Humanity.

The religious visionary who created a color-blind Christian community in southwest Georgia was born on July 29, 1912, Today in Georgia History.