Thomas A. Tarrants was once labeled the most dangerous man in Mississippi. He was a bomb-making white supremacist who met Jesus in prison and emerged as a committed advocate for Christian discipleship, peace, and racial justice.
Tom Tarrants was a high school student in the 1960s, seduced by extremist ideology and radicalized during the social upheaval of the era. He even got involved in the reign of terror spread by Mississippi's dreaded White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, identified by the FBI as the most violent right-wing terrorist organization in America. Tom was sentenced to thirty years in the Mississippi State Penitentiary after he was shot multiple times and arrested by police after an attempt to bomb the home of a Jewish leader in Meridian, MS. Following his recovery from near-fatal wounds, Tarrants and two other inmates escaped. An FBI SWAT team tracked them don, killing one of the convicts. Tom spent the next three years of his life alone in a 6 x 9 foot cell. Tom searched for truth that led him to the Bible and a reading of the gospels, resulting in his conversion to Christianity and liberation from racial hate and violence.
Tom attended college, moved to Washington, DC, and became co-pastor of a racially mixed church after serving only eight years of a thirty-five-year sentence. He earned a doctorate and became the president of the C.S. Lewis Institute, where he devotes himself to helping others become wholehearted followers of Jesus. This dramatic story of radical transformation shows that hope is not lost, even in the most chaotic of times, such as our own.