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Faith Leaders Givers News & Events 3min read

“The Black Church…” Documentary To Air In February

We are delighted to partner with an ever-growing number of Black churches that choose Givelify as their preferred online giving platform. As such, we love to share news that is important to our partners. African American faith leaders shouldn’t miss the upcoming documentary, “The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song.”  The special premieres on PBS on February 16 & 17!

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. writes, produces, and hosts “The Black Church,” a documentary about the history and cultural importance of the Black church on the spiritual lives and social action of African Americans.


Details of “The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song”

  • Four-hour series in two parts
  • 400-year history of the African American Church in America
  • Interviews with Oprah, TD Jakes, Kirk Franklin, John Legend, and more!

Synopsis of “The Black Church” PBS Special

This powerful documentary is the story of how the Black church in America transcended its origins from enslavement and became the first place that African Americans experienced the joys of freedom. Through the church, came the fight against inequality and organization around social justice.

“The Black church is the oldest, the most continuous and most important institution created in the history of Black people in this country,” said Henry Louis Gates, Jr. during PBS’s Winter TCA Press Tour. “I’m honored that we have made this series, and will be sharing it with audiences at a time when these stories of grace and resilience, struggle and redemption, hope and healing would be so desperately needed, given all that we’ve lost and all that we’ve endured in the last year. We wanted to make a series about the sheer transcendent power of belief, and never has that message been more important than now.”

Highlights of the Special

Pastor Thurmond Tillman from Savannah’s First African Baptist Church gives Henry Louis Gates, Jr. a tour of the church, built in 1773.  Freed slaves built the building using bricks and filled with coded symbols. The church’s first pastor George Liele was a freed slave. He was granted permission to walk along the Savannah River preaching the Gospel. Reverend Tillman, the 17th pastor of the First African Baptist Church, has served his congregation for more than 35 years.

We spoke with Pastor Tillman recently about the impact of the church on Black history. Check it out here.

Another highlight includes the conversations with iconic musicians like John Legend, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Kirk Franklin, and Yolanda Adams.  They’ll discuss the culture-defining influence of gospel music within the Black church. Oprah also weighs in on the Black church’s influence saying, “I don’t know how we could have survived without it.”

Make an Appointment with Your Television

Faith leaders, don’t miss this special as it will energize and further highlight the Black church’s story. This is appointment television at its finest. Check your local listings for times!

You may want to remind your congregation to watch it. After it airs, you could send a message to your congregation that includes your thoughts, along with a giving link.  It may inspire members to give to this bedrock of Black history.

About the Author

Sarah Braud

Sarah Braud is a storyteller, writer, and educator. Sarah’s core values — creativity, compassion, and connection —converge in her role as Senior Content Producer at Givelify. Her nonprofit marketing and screenwriting background are galvanized in her passions for social justice, faith, and neuroscience.

Sarah Braud