Clarence and Florence Jordan and Martin and Mabel England established what they referred to as a “demonstration plot for the Kingdom of God” on 400 acres. The intentional neighborhood sought to convey collectively households to dwell and work alongside each other, sharing within the bounty.
Over time, the variety of residents grew. Black and white residents lived and labored collectively, incomes the identical amount of cash, and shared the identical dinner desk. Conscientious objectors from World Warfare II have been additionally welcomed. “Koinonians,” as they referred to as themselves, labored with native church buildings and have been part of the neighborhood.
Clarence Jordan and Koinonia have been topic to visits from the Ku Klux Klan for welcoming all races. Jordan additionally fought for 2 Black college students to be allowed to attend an Atlanta college. This led to violence and property injury from the sad neighbors. Others boycotted their merchandise, damaging them financially, and enterprise loans have been revoked.
Americus and Southwest Georgia have been an enormous a part of the Civil Rights Movement, particularly when it got here to voter registration and integration. In 1960, the courts allowed college students from Koinonia to attend the native highschool. The next yr, Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in Albany and in 1963, the Leesburg Stockade exterior of Americus made nationwide headlines.
The Albany Movement was spearheaded by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, of which Americus resident Sam Mahone was a member. Koinonians labored alongside members of SNCC and CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality.
“It started with intensive and intensive voter registration drives within the metropolis, downtown Americus, and likewise within the county,” mentioned Mahone. He’s now a part of the Americus Civil Rights Heart and Museum, which is beneath building within the city’s 1923 Black hospital.
By 1969, Clarence Jordan and Millard Fuller revived Koinonia, specializing in reasonably priced housing for native residents. Millard and spouse Linda continued Jordan’s efforts after his demise, finally forming Habitat for Humanity International. The group continues to be an vital a part of Americus immediately. The Koinonia neighborhood additionally performed a job within the founding of Jubilee Partners, a company that assists refugees from battle zones in resettlement.
Within the following many years, the intentional neighborhood facet shifted however the farm continues to function its agricultural mail order enterprise, promoting peanuts, pecans, jellies, honey, and chocolate. Earlier than the pandemic, the farm additionally welcomed guests for excursions and retreats.
“Koinonia has been lucky by means of all this although we’re lacking the a whole bunch upon a whole bunch of visitors that come to go to us annually. We’re a home of hospitality in any case,” says Bren Dubay, the manager director of the farm.
However the neighborhood has confronted onerous instances earlier than and can come out stronger than ever. The farm continues to run its internship program and has grant-funded restorations and initiatives. A whole bunch of pecan bushes will probably be planted for future harvests and their merchandise will be purchased online.
WATCH: Youngsters Achieve Confidence Elevating Bees and Rising Crops
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“I would like them to have the ability to see the place onerous work and dedication leads.”
“In 2022, Koinonia Farm will have fun our eightieth birthday,” says Katie Miles, the farm’s communications coordinator. “There have been loads of instances over the previous 80 years that we didn’t know if Koinonia could be round for the subsequent yr. To have fun 80 years is a big accomplishment and we’re excited to see what the subsequent 80-plus years will convey.”