In honor of what would have been Clarence Jordan's one hundredth birthday and the seventieth anniversary of Koinonia Farm, the first Clarence Jordan Symposium convened in historic Sumter County, Georgia, in 2012, gathering theologians, historians, actors, and activists in civil rights, housing, agriculture, and fair-trade businesses to celebrate a remarkable individual and his continuing influence. Clarence Jordan (1912–1969), a farmer and New Testament Greek scholar, was the author of the Cotton Patch versions of the New Testament and the founder of Koinonia Farm, a small but influential religious community in southwest Georgia.
Roots in the Cotton Patch, Volume 1 contains Symposium presentations addressing Clarence's influence as a storyteller and contextual preacher and prophet, his pacifist witness in a violent and segregated South, and the contemporary meaning of his life's work in Christian community. Uniting these powerful essays is the obvious impact Jordan's life has had on so many. His life and work continue to inspire a new generation of activists, seminary students, and people in search of the meaning of Christian community.