The Black Church (PBS): This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

Video. 4 hours. PBS, February 2021.


This two-part PBS documentary celebrates the Black Church as a bedrock of resilience through America's 400-year history of oppression and slavery.


a 4-hour documentary, a animated film series, discussion guides for dinner and worship; adapting the Christian religious tradition, early African American institutions and the AME denomination, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), spirituals and traditions.

Recommended Audience

anyone seeking to understand the African American experience and the rich history of the Black Church.


Varies per service

Practical Applications

  • Honor the resilience and vibrancy of the Black Church by watching this documentary.
  • Understand the importance of the Black Church community by reflecting using the discussion guides.

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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