BLACK CHURCH, INC. explores the issue of corruption in the church, with “mega-pastors” getting rich off their trade. In the last thirty years, the number of mega-churches has tripled. The film focuses on the lifestyles of the multi-million dollar ministers and ministries and investigates the assertion that these mega-churches do not donate the percentage of their earnings that they claim they do.
Gone are the days of working class preachers who didn’t expect financial gain in exchange for spiritual guidance. A new breed of pastors has emerged: the mega-pastor…one who aims to sell their religious brand and get rich off the gospel. BLACK CHURCH, INC. is a feature-length investigative documentary that examines the sensationalism of the black church and its present day relationship with serving the community.
BLACK CHURCH, INC. attempts to justify the dichotomy of the profits of prophets. It compares pastors who are seen as activists such as Rev. Taharka Robinson, Rev. Al Sharpton and Pastor Raphael Warnock with pastors who are criticized for being celebrity brands such as Rev. Eddie Long, Rev. Creflo Dollar and Rev. T.D. Jakes. The documentary takes a deep dive into controversial issues clouding the church including “love offerings” (cash payments given to ministers), financial abuse and the deification of the mega-church pastor all while asking… is prayer-for-profit moral?
Given that I have a personal experience in attending a black mega-church at one point in time, I was open to seeing this film, but I did have some doubts. I’ll admit, most of my doubts came from my own personal believe that we should uplift our black leaders and not work to tear them down. And because black pastors have been key features in the black community for some time, going up against that influence can be a little taboo.
However, this film just reaffirmed the sad truth regarding many black mega-churches and their “brand obsessed” pastors. Despite the fact that these black mega-churches processed the resources needed to impact real change, they continually fail to reinvest in their communities. Black mega-churches wield a lot of of power over the black community, while controlling a great deal of the ideologies formed in these communities, so they have a direct responsibility to make sure their local congregation has a sustainable foundation. This film provides insights into their failure.
Cinedigm and Moguldom Studios are releasing BLACK CHURCH, INC. on DVD and DIGITAL PLATFORMS on May 19tImage Credits: Moguldom Studios