The Black Church (PBS companion book)

by Louis Henry Gates Jr.. Penguin Books, February 2021.


A companion to the PBS documentary series, this book amplifies the Black Church's 400-year journey of resilience and public witness.


400 years of American history; the Black Church as a cultural change agent and public witness; theology of the Holy Spirit and the depth of Black traditions including spirituals; elements of other spiritual practices from other faith traditions

Recommended Audience

those seeking to understand the African American experience and the history of resilienc


Purchase as book, e-book, or audio book

Practical Applications

  • Learn about racism in America through the Black Church experience by studying this book in a small group.
  • Start community conversations about race and the Black experience by inviting people outside your congregation to engage with this text.

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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