Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story

57 minutes . Journey Films , 2019.


This hour-long film tells the life story of pastor and theologian Howard Thurman, a thought-leader in nonviolent resistance and founder of an integrated, interfaith congregation.


interviews with Jesse L. Jackson and John Lewis, nationwide screening dates, discussion guides, a list of Howard Thurman resources

Recommended Audience

clergy, clergy study groups, seminarians, judicatory leaders, new leader



Practical Applications

  • Consider racial reconciliation in your context by exploring the life of Thurman and his work in non-violence.
  • Generate creativity and possibility in your congregation by comparing Thurman’ s Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples with current innovative congregations.

About the Contributor

Tim Shapiro

Tim Shapiro is the Indianapolis Center’s president. He began serving the Center in 2003 after 18 years in pastoral ministry. For 14 years, Tim served Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio. Prior to his pastorate at Westminster, he was pastor of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Logansport, Indiana. He holds degrees from Purdue University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Tim’s interest in how congregations learn to do new things is represented in his book How Your Congregation LearnsAfter his extensive work on the Center’s Sacred Space initiative, Tim co-authored the book Holy Places: Matching Sacred Space with Mission and MessageHe has also authored several articles, including Applying Positive Deviance and The Congregation of Theological Coherence.

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