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Faith in the Free State Podcast launches today!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Department of Religious Studies' Religion in Kansas Project is happy to announce that the Faith in the Free StateI Podcast is now available!

Faith in the Free State, a limited-series podcast, explores the faith and activism of Black Churches in the northeast Kansas region and investigates how Black Churches have served as a place of fortitude in communities. The podcast endeavors to share the evolving ways in which black churches provide spiritual inspiration, cultural strength, and social empowerment to African American communities, offering a compelling living narrative of Kansas religious experience. The podcast aims to focus on how Black Churches in the northeast Kansas area have responded to COVID-19 as well as social justice issues in the past and present.

Black churches tell a rich story about identity, faith, community, and the American experience. Communicating Black Churches’ affirmation of cultural survival and dedication to justice contributes to a greater story of American religious experience, sharing a story that is uniquely Kansan and truly American. The podcast brings community and scholarly voices together to offer nuanced narratives about the challenges faced by and the strengths found within black churches today in the Northeast Kansas region.

The Religion in Kansas Project team interviewed three local pastors: Pastor Delmar White of New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas; Pastor Leo Barbee of Victory Bible Church in Lawrnece, Kansas; and Pastor Arsenial Runion of First Regular Missionary Baptist Church in Lawrence, Kansas.. The series concludes with a recording of a live event with Dr. Dorthy Pennington. 

This podcast project was completed by Associate Professor and Chair Dr. Michael Zogry, Archivist Darby Breaux-Vickers, and interns Grace Awbrey and Emily Counsil. The Humanities Consultant for this prohect was Dr. Dorthy Pennington, Professor of African and African American Studies and Communication at KU. Dr. Pennington wrote the seminal history of Afrcan Americna churches in Lawerence, which served as the basis for this work. 

Funding for this program is provided by Humanities Kansas, a nonprofit cultural organization connecting communities with history, traditions, and ideas to strengthen civic life. The Friends of the Department of Religious Studies provided additional support. 

Click here to listen to the podcast. 

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