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Collection 370 Oral History Interview with Melvin R. Anderson

Identifier: CN 370

Scope and Contents

Oral history interview with Melvin R. Anderson in which he discusses his work with Voice of Calvary Ministries in Jackson, MS, particularly as director of Peoples Development Incorporated and its housing ministry to rennovate and make homes available to the economically disadvantaged in Jackson. Other topics discussed include Anderson's family background, education, racial integration of the public school system; boycott of white businesses,  the influence of John and Vera Mae Perkins on him, his education, racial and economic conditions in Mississippi, and the early ministry of Voice of Calvary in Mendenhall, MS. The time period covered by the interviews is 1955-1987.

Melvin R. Anderson was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen at the Voice of Calvary offices in Jackson, MS, on June 19, 1987.


  • Created: 1987

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Melvin Anderson was born in Mendenhall, MS, in 1955 and grew up there, in Biloxi and nearby Dilo as well, raised primarily by his grandmother. While growing up he was influenced by the presence of John and Vera Mae Perkins, and Voice of Calvary (VOC) which John Perkins founded in Mendenhall. Anderson was educated in Mendenhall, and attended high school at the time the town's school system was integrated in the early 1970s. He participated in an economic boycott (late 1969 to early 1970) coordinated by community blacks (John Perkins called for the boycott of white-owned businesses in Mendenhall during the Christmas shopping season of 1969 to respond to local discrimination). After graduating from high school, he went to Jackson State College in Jackson, MS, on a sports scholarship, majoring in physical education. He also worked six years for the YMCA in youth sports and as a construction worker. During that time he maintained his contact with the Perkins and VOC, which had relocated to Jackson with a more urban emphasis. In ca. 1985, Anderson joined the VOC staff as director of the People's Development Incorporated (PDI). (PDI, started in 1974 by VOC as a real estate investment division, bought, renovated and resold homes in the poorest section of Jackson.) In 1989 Voice of Calvary's president, Lem Tucker, died. Anderson then became acting executive director. In 1992, he was named VOC's president.


1.00 Audio Tape

58 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Melvin Anderson in June 1987.

Acc 87-79

November 3, 1993

Paul A. Ericksen

Collection 370 Oral History Interview with Melvin R. Anderson
Paul Ericksen
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

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