Brief History

Clarence

Clarence Jordan

Koinonia Farm was founded in 1942 by Clarence and Florence Jordan and Martin and Mabel England in 1942 as a “demonstration plot for the Kingdom of God.” For them, this meant an intentional community of believers sharing their lives and resources, following the example of the first Christian communities as described in the Acts of the Apostles. Other families soon joined, and visitors to the farm were invited to “serve a period of apprenticeship in developing community life on the teachings and principles of Jesus.”

Koinonians shared not only faith and resources, but also work. We farmed the land for our livelihood, and sought ways to work in partnership with the land, “to conserve the soil, God’s holy earth” (Clarence Jordan). We preached, taught, and were members of local churches. From the beginning, Koinonians emphasized the brotherhood and sisterhood of all people. When we could afford to hire seasonal help, Black and White workers were paid a fair, equal wage. When the community and its guests and workers prayed or ate a meal, we all sat together at the table, regardless of color. Our commitment to racial equality, pacifism, and economic sharing brought bullets, bomb and a boycott in the 1950s as the KKK and others attempted to force us out. We responded with prayer, nonviolent resistance, and a renewed commitment to live the Gospel. We created a mail-order business, which continues to sustain our community today.

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Grapes and pecans

As the threats of violence dwindled, we focused on the poor quality of local housing and began a project to build decent, affordable homes for our neighbors. Clarence Jordan also focused on a passion he held to pen a version of the New Testament from the original Greek to south Georgia vernacular. From his writing shack nestled in one of our pecan orchards, he wrote the Cotton Patch Version, prepared for nationwide speaking engagements, and, in 1969 while working on a sermon, it is where he died suddenly.

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Florence Jordan

The Koinonia community carried on Clarence’s legacy. The housing ministry evolved into Habitat for Humanity International under the leadership of Millard and Linda Fuller, who were members of Koinonia. When they left Habitat in 2005, Millard and Linda made certain that the first board meeting of their new organization – The Fuller Center for Housing – took place at Koinonia Farm. They wanted the Fuller Center’s birthplace to be at Koinonia Farm as well. Koinonia was instrumental in the founding of other organizations such as Jubilee Partners (a community that welcomes refugees from war-torn countries) and many others that work for social justice.

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Baby chick

Through our commitment to the Gospel today, we seek to Feed the Hungry both physically and spiritually. We grow a variety of natural produce, fruit, vegetables, pecans, grass-fed beef, and other livestock. Through our ministry of hospitality, countless individuals are renewed and transformed by our life of prayer, work, study, service and fellowship on the farm. Our internship program is thriving, with people of all ages and backgrounds coming to explore Christian community and discipleship. Come join us!

To read more about our service to others click here.