Private Project

Let The Church Say

In a time of racial upheaval and a multitude of woes affecting marginalized communities, a young, African American filmmaker journeys to the heart of the Black experience to find the answer to a daunting question: Is the Black church dead?

In a large cathedral with stained glass windows and mahogany pews stands, Rafiq Jordan, a young, African American filmmaker, and Christian. Here, in the sanctuary of a Black church, the oldest Black institution in the U.S., we encounter one of the foundations for the preservation of Black culture in America.

Through the years of oppression and sacrifice, one thing has remained: The Black church and its impact on Black culture today. Nevertheless, in the light of the current decline in church attendance amongst Blacks and the loss of its central role in African American communities, some would argue that the Black church is dead. Is it true?

The filmmaker takes the audience on a visual journey and speaks with prominent members of the community to view all sides of the subject. The film is a unique exploration of the vital connections between race, religion, and activism.

The film stars Grammy® nominated gospel recording artist Jekalyn Carr, GMA Dove Nominated Artist Darlene McCoy, Emory University professor Rev Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, and many more, to answer important questions.

  • Rafiq Nabali
    Love Remains
  • Rafiq Nabali
  • Joe Howell
    All Natural, The Wackness
  • Jekalyn Carr
    Key Cast
  • Darlene McCoy
    Key Cast
  • Teresa Fry Brown
    Key Cast
  • Nichole Phillips
    Key Cast
  • Nancy Howard
    Executive Producer
    The Promise
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 6 minutes 39 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 11, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Rafiq Nabali

Rafiq Jordan Nabali, a multi-talented creator is an experienced writer, director and editor. His Jamaican, African and American backgrounds and passion for current cultural events evoke him to create stories that explore the viewpoints of unsung heroes. He is currently working on a documentary titled “Unbreakable” that explores the woes of black women in the film / television industry and the struggles they encounter in trying to get their projects funded. In addition, he has collaborated on award winning films like Best West Tech. (2017) In his spare time, he is a traveling spoken word poet and has been an opening act for the 2017 Poets in Autumn Tour.

Rafiq Jordan

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was born in the church. This statement not only details my personal experience but also is a reminder that the church, like a beloved ancestor, has lived a life full of triumphs and failures long before I even existed. Some of my earliest memories consisted of my late grandmother being honored in front of her entire church congregation. I remember church members coming to visit and praying for her when she was sick and them sending their condolences when she passed. My firsthand experience of such events sparked my interest in the Black church and its significance in the lives of African Americans. I believe very few people fully understand the importance of the Black church. It has long stood for equality and valuing its members. It is an institution that provides psychological refuge for the broken and of course, a path to salvation for the lost.

Let the Church Say is my coming of age story. Is the Black church dead? This question will be answered through a variety of means including uniquely designed interviews with affiliates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), government officials, Black influencers and religious leaders. Coupled with guerrilla-style footage of current protests, Atlanta natives and archival images, the church will be seen through the perspective of those who know it best. Perhaps the greatest evidence will be found in my personal journey towards the truth. I know that not everything I learn will be lovely, but my aim is not to immortalize the church, nor do I aim to sanctify it. Quite frankly, that is not my job. Rather, I desire to present the humanity of the Black church and declare it still beautiful.

~ Rafiq Jordan