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FILM OVERVIEW

Detroit has a reputation for iron and steel, and its national image is frequently covered in motor oil. When thinking of a culture built around the automobile industry, spirituality does not necessarily come to mind.

In fact, since its founding in 1701, Detroit has built a population from many nationalities of many faiths, and today boasts more churches per square mile than any other city in the country. They exist in every form, from Gothic cathedrals to handpainted storefront missions.

Visitors are often intrigued to discover this remarkable side of Detroit’s history, and one of the most popular destinations is the Mariner’s Church on Jefferson, where every March a ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ is held, and in November, a Great Lakes memorial service for those who have died in Michigan waters. A bonus to those who attend is that the church once served as an Underground Railroad stop prior to the Civil War.

Apart from the cultural significance of these holy places, a deeper question arises. To what extent does spiritual leadership form the sort of citizens Detroit boasts? Regardless of denomination, what role does the church play in influencing the young people in the communities it serves? And in an era of dwindling faith, how do they manage to survive?

From the painful birth of automotive unions through the riots and the bankruptcy, Detroit’s churches have been an oasis of comfort and inspiration for generations; nowhere is this more evident in Detroit’s international reputation than in the gospel roots of Motown.

These subjects and more will be the focus of Detroit Public Television special, Detroit: The City of Churches. Emmy Award-winning director/producer Keith Famie and Visionalist Entertainment Productions will explore this fascinating subject in an in-depth documentary that takes a look behind the pulpit. The Visionalist team will step into the lives of Detroit spiritual leaders and local historians to learn how Detroit’s churches have remained a shining star for three centuries, casting light through the city’s darkest hours.

Executive Producers:

Keith Famie
John & Carole Kulhavi

Community Leaders:

William and Marie Molnar
Foundation

Henry and Mary Ellen Bellaimey
Family Foundation

Tony & Mary Schimizzi
Timothy Hartge
Carl & Carol Schiller
Daniel Nickodemus
Tom & Sue Rau
RJ King
Alicia Winget
Annie & Ted Gillary
Paul & Mary Glantz

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Trailer |  Trailer 2 |  Christmas trailer |  Sweetest Heart of Mary | 

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