hres.9781498220156[1]President Jimmy Carter described Clarence Jordan as one of the few great people he has met in his lifetime, on an equal basis with such men as Nelson Mandela and Anwar Sadat. Millard and Linda Fuller, co-founders of Habitat for Humanity, saw Clarence Jordan as a prophet. In his life and in his writing, Clarence Jordan addressed issues that still affect our society today, among them poverty, violence, and racial tension.

Cotton Patch Rebel tells the story of the making of this great man from boyhood through the turbulence of the Civil Rights era, his writing of the Cotton Patch Gospels and the vision that formed Habitat for Humanity.



          68 Clarence Jordan in Peanut FieldClarence Jordan seemed to be born with an ability to see things just a little bit differently than other people did- and sometimes that got him into trouble. Like his views on racial equality: they just weren’t popular with many other White people in the Deep South of his day. Like his views on war and how to deal with violence and hatred.

        For Clarence, the Gospel was very clear about these issues. Moreover, he believed that Jesus’s teachings were not just abstract principles but were meant to be applied directly to everyday life. That  got him into trouble too, especially among certain church-going people.

         Along the way, Clarence became a progressive farmer, a sought-after preacher, a Greek scholar, an author, a precursor of the Civil Rights movement, and a family man. An inexpressible sense of humor enlivened all these aspects of his life.


Commentary: ”Cotton Patch Rebel: The story of Clarence Jordan

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 Ann Trousdale discusses the legacy of Christian theologian and Koinonia Farm founder Clarence Jordan from the site of the inaugural Linda Fuller Build for Women in Lanett, Alabama.

About the author

FullSizeRenderAnn M. Trousdale is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church. She is also a retired professor at Louisiana State University, where she taught courses in children’s literature and storytelling, the oral interpretation of literature and children’s spirituality, focusing particularly on using literature to support children’s spiritual lives and religious understanding. She lives with  her dog Sadie in Louisiana.

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