FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: DR. ROBERT FRANKLIN
WVAS Station Manager • 334 229 5076
“THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG,” TO PREMIERE IN FEBRURY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH APT and WVAS
Montgomery: From Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery to 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, these prominent Black churches in Alabama and across America have played major historic roles in the foundation of the heartbeat of the Black communities. Beginning with enslavement, Emancipation, Jim Crow, the Great Migration and the Civil Rights Movement to the present-day, Black churches in America tell the richest of stories, sing the glorious of songs and sculpt the core of Black communities.
WVAS, the Voice of Alabama State University, has been awarded a national grant from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting to participate in the launching of “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song,” a four-part documentary film series on February 16th and 17th at 8 p.m. CST on PBS. WVAS will promote the upcoming series, host select radio and virtual events interviewing church leaders in Alabama, according to station manager, Dr. Robert Franklin.
“We are truly excited about participating with this very special PBS documentary series hosted by renowned American literary critic and scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr, chronicling the rich history of the Black church in America,” says Dr. Franklin. “To hear Professor Gates take viewers on a journey through time focusing on this incredible history will be monumental. WVAS is pleased to play a role in the documentary series airing this month on PBS.”
WVAS will also host panel discussions on the history, music, influence and role of the Black Church in the community. The broadcast events on WVAS will begin on Thursday, February 18th.
The WVAS radio schedule includes:
February 18th: “The Color of Our Story” featuring Pastor Thomas Jordan, Lily Baptist Church in Montgomery and author/writer Sheyann Christburg, “Selma Lord Selma.” They will discuss their views on the documentary.
The Zoom virtual events schedule includes:
February 18th: “The Black Church Today” with WVAS evening host Mrs. Catina Woods Sistrunk with pastors and community leaders including Minister Marilyn McCoy Player, Pastor Zelda Kitt, Minister Angela Harris, Youth Pastor George Clausell, II and Minister Iverson Gandy, Jr.
February 25th “The Black Church, Our Story, Our Time”, detailing the history, music, role and influence in the Black community. Hosts are Ministers Shae Robinson and Yolanda P. Kelley.
WVAS is also partnering with the National Park Service in Alabama that will promote the project with its historic park sites in Alabama and Georgia. Dr. Joy Kinard, Superintendent, Tuskegee Institute National Historic site, has arranged for special promotional flyers to be emailed to local churches in Montgomery, Selma and Tuskegee and to select National Park Services sites in Atlanta including the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Park, the birth home of Dr. King and historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and in Birmingham at the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, one of the newest National Parks honoring the Civil Rights Movement that includes 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park, all connected to the story of the Black church.
In addition, the NPS will send the flyers to local museums in Montgomery.
“We are happy to spread the word through our network of Civil Rights National Parks which tell America's stories of the most effective leadership found in the African American church during the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965 from the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, AL, to the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL,” says Dr. Kinard.
WVAS has already produced a public affairs presentation in partnership with the documentary, “Changing Pulpits,” with Pastor Paul Gourdine, Engage Christian Church and Pastor Richard Williams, Metropolitan United Methodist Church. Host Robb Taylor facilitated the presentation that aired Wednesday, February 10th on WVAS.
In addition, WVAS hosted a special segment, “The Response of the Black Church to the Pandemic” with Hearts and Heels co-hosts, Yolanda Kelley and Shae Robinson. The duo joined Senior Pastor Kyle Searcy, Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery and Bishop Calvin W. Woods, Sr., Shiloh Baptist Church near Birmingham for the discussion. The special presentation aired Thursday, February 11th at 6 pm on WVAS and live on Facebook.
For more information contact Dr. Robert Franklin, Station Manager, WVAS, 334 229-5076.