Consumed by Hate, Redeemed by Love: How a Violent Klansman Became a Champion of Racial Reconciliation (Hardcover)
Riveting, inspiring, at times hard to believe but utterly true...it gives some measure of hope in these rancorous times. -- John Grisham
As an ordinary high school student in the 1960s, Tom Tarrants became deeply unsettled by the social upheaval of the era. In response, he turned for answers to extremist ideology and was soon utterly radicalized. Before long, he became involved in the reign of terror spread by Mississippi's dreaded White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, described by the FBI as the most violent right-wing terrorist organization in America.
In 1969, while attempting to bomb the home of a Jewish leader in Meridian, Mississippi, Tom was ambushed by law enforcement and shot multiple times during a high-speed chase. Nearly dead from his wounds, he was arrested and sentenced to thirty years in the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman Farm. Unrepentant, Tom and two other inmates made a daring escape from Parchman yet were tracked down by an FBI SWAT team and apprehended in hail of bullets that killed one of the convicts. Tom spent the next three years alone in a six-foot-by-nine-foot cell. There he began a search for truth that led him to the Bible and a reading of the gospels, resulting in his conversion to Jesus Christ and liberation from the grip of racial hatred and violence.
Astounded by the change in Tom, many of the very people who worked to put him behind bars began advocating for his release. After serving eight years of a 35-year sentence, Tom left prison. He attended college, moved to Washington, DC, and became copastor of a racially mixed church. He went on to earn a doctorate and became the president of the C. S. Lewis Institute, where he devoted himself to helping others become wholehearted followers of Jesus.
A dramatic story of radical transformation, Consumed by Hate, Redeemed by Love demonstrates that hope is not lost even in the most tumultuous of times, even those similar to our own.
As a kid in Mississippi in the late 1960's, I remember the men of our church discussing the Klan's bombing campaign against the Jews. The men did not disapprove. Later, I would use this fascinating chapter of civil rights history as the backdrop for my novel The Chamber. Now, one of the bombers, Thomas Tarrants, tells the real story in this remarkable memoir. It is riveting, inspiring, at times hard to believe but utterly true, and it gives some measure of hope in these rancorous times. --John Grisham
Dramatic...Simply astonishing...Essential reading for these times. If you want to understand how the evil of extremist thought works--and how the gospel of God's grace can overcome it--read this book. --Mark Batterson, New York Times bestselling author of The Circle Maker, lead pastor of National Community Church
Amazing...Gives hope for what God can do. --Dr. John Perkins, president emeritus, John Perkins Foundation; co-founder emeritus, Christian Community Development Association
A riveting narrative. --Russell Moore, president, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
This gripping and inspiring story is as timely as today's headlines....Put on your seatbelt and prepare to enter into one of the most extraordinary true stories you'll ever encounter --Lee Strobel, best-selling author of The Case for Christ and The Case for Grace
Reveals how easily a political ideology can grow into a radical, extreme, life-taking worldview, all the while masquerading for some supposed form of a 'Christian' faith....A powerful story --Eric C. Redmond, associate professor of Bible, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago