Clarence Jordan was a man of unusual abilities and commitment. He had two Ph.D.’s. So gifted was he, he could have chosen to do anything he wanted. He chose to serve the poor. In the 1940’s, he founded a farm in Americus, Georgia, and called it Koinonia Farm.
It was a community for poor whites and poor blacks. As you might guess, such an idea did not go over well in the Deep South of the ‘40s. In 1954, the Ku Klux Klan had enough of Clarence Jordan, so they decided to get rid of him. They came one night with guns and torches and set fire to every building on Koinonia Farm but Clarence’s home, which they riddled with bullets. The next day, a reporter came out to see what remained of the farm. The rubble still smoldered and the land was scorched, but he found Clarence in the field, hoeing and planting.
“Well, Dr. Jordan,”
stated the reporter,
“you got two of them Ph.D.’s and you’ve but fourteen years into this farm, and there’s nothing left of it at all. Just how successful do you think you’ve been?”
Clarence stopped hoeing, turned toward the reporter with his penetrating blue eyes, and said quietly but firmly,
“About as successful as the cross. Sir, I don’t think you understand us. What we are about is not success but faithfulness. We’re staying. Good day.”