Because we are a Matthew 25 presbytery, our Faith, Education & Leadership Development (FELD) Committee will be promoting a movie of the month. These movies are recommended to individuals and to church groups. Click here to read more about what it means to be a Matthew 25 presbytery or church.

In 2021, the FELD Committee recommended books each month for a Book of the Month offering. Click here to see those.

May 2022 – The Great Debaters

The Great Debaters, 2007

Your Faith, Education, and Leadership Development committee recommends the movie The Great Debaters. This film is based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College, a historically Black college related to the then Methodist Episcopal Church South (now the UMC), in Texas. Dr. Tolson, played by Denzel Washington, sought to place his debate team on equal footing with whites in the American South during the 1930s, when Jim Crow laws were common, and lynch mobs were active. In 1935, the Wiley College debate team defeated the University of Southern California, the reigning national debate champions.

This movie depicts the social constructs in Texas during the Great Depression, including the day-to-day insults endured by Blacks, and lynching. One scene in the movie depicts the debate team coming upon a midnight burning of a man on a cross. As hard as some of the scenes are to watch, the movie is highly inspirational, a testimony to doing what you “have to do” in order that you “can do” what you “want to do,” a recurring line throughout the movie.

This movie has an extraordinary case, including Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Jurnee Smollett, and John Heard.

This movie is available for free on the Roku Channel, and on other streaming services for $3.99.

April 2022 – One Night In Miami

One Night in Miami, 2020

On one incredible night in 1964, four icons of sports, music, and activism gathered to celebrate one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. When underdog Cassius Clay, soon to be called Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), defeats heavyweight champion Sonny Liston at the Miami Convention Hall, Clay memorialized the event with three of his friends: Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge).

These four men, who are at the top of their professions, struggle with the systemic racism that still restrains them in America. It is one night in Miami and brings Malcolm into conflict with Cooke, Malcolm challenging Cooke to make his music more socially responsible, more like Bob Dylan. It is an engaging debate and encounter between these four men, two of whom are Cooke and Malcolm, would be murdered not long after this night in Miami.

One Night in Miami is rated R for strong language and is available through Amazon Prime.