Keeping the Faith

Film Info:  “Keeping the Faith” – by Sherry Jones — PBS (Frontline series) (1987) – 58 minutes

Distributor:  PBS

Summary: Depicts two black churches in Chicago, with particular focus on one middle-class congregation and a secondary focus on a lower-class congregation.  Examines these congregations as sources of vitality, activism, community, and identity.

The larger congregation — Trinity United Church of Christ — is pastored by Jeremiah Wright, the man whom President Barrack Obama said brought him to Christ.  The film was shot nearly 20 years before the controversy over Wright’s political remarks before the 2008 election.  One gets a very good sense of Wright’s drive, his charisma, and his solid theological grounding.  It seems clear to me (JS) that the whole ‘controversy’ was a political hatchet job designed to turn White voters against Obama’s candidacy.

Film notice taken (with permission) from the “Teaching Resources” list in Meredith McGuire’s Religion: The Social Context, third edition. Her 5th edition (available from Waveland Press: see does not contain the resource list. I have only traced some of these films to current distributors. Please post updated information about them, if you have it. – JS

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