Black Church, Inc., a new documentary released by Moguldum Studios, critiques prosperity-preaching pastors, who head some of the largest megachurches in the country, and the role they serve in the black community.
The film, directed by Todd L. Williams, provides startling information on the current state of the black church, and positions that it’s rife with pastors who are selling a misconstrued and perverted version of God’s Word, known as “prosperity preaching,” to make a profit.
Clips of famous megachurch pastors - Creflo Dollar, T.D. Jakes, and Eddie Long - and pastors from the reality show, Preachers of LA, are shown to illustrate a rich, lavish lifestyle in comparison to their church members.
Pastors are no longer deemed holy men and women, but a business, a brand, and celebrities, enticing churchgoers to tithe and give, all the while pocketing money for themselves.
Dr. Anthony Pinn, Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University, John Blake, a religious writer for CNN, and several pastors across the U.S. provide candid interviews on the current state of the black church and express their disdain for where the black church is headed.
“Tradition of the black church, always, is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. How that is packaged, how that is promoted, becomes debatable, and becomes the challenge,” explains New York pastor, Rev. Herbert Daughtery.
Bible verses such as Proverbs 22:16 and Jeremiah 6:13 are interspersed throughout the film, to support and validate the film’s arguments.
The film also provides statistical data about megachurches, claiming that in the past 10 years, these churches have nearly tripled and take in over $400 million annually.
Many, if not all of those interviewed in this film, assert that megachurches and profiteering pastors have become a detriment to black communities because the state of wealth is contained to only those on the pulpit.
“On one level, it’s an act of bad faith that these ministers are prosperous because of this congregation, knowing all along that there are barriers that are going to prevent members of that congregation from achieving the same thing,” Dr. Pinn asserts.
But delving past the criticism of affluent pastors, there is an underlying message coursed throughout the film: accountability.
What is also noticeable about the documentary is that is void of the female perspective. Only two women were featured in the film (none of which were pastors or ministers).
In addition, the docufilm leaves out the neighborhoods where these megachurches reside, and does not provide visual or statistical evidence that these pastors continue the social and economic stagnation of black communities.
Black Church Inc. will be released June 30 on iTunes and Google Play. View the trailer below:
What is your opinion on the current state of the black church and do you think megachurch pastors are helping or hindering the communities they serve?