A third short documentary on female Baptist pastors will be released this November.

“No. 3: Danielle,” produced in partnership by Baptist Women in Ministry and Good Faith Media, will premiere in person and online Nov. 13.

Danielle Bridgeforth, senior pastor of the Church at Clarendon in Arlington, Virginia, is the focus of this third film in the series.

Lynn Brinkley headshot“It was an honor to work with Danielle and Good Faith Media to produce this documentary,” said Lynn Brinkley, BWIM’s associate director. “Although I had known Danielle from her participation in BWIM’s mentoring program, I had not spent time with her up close and personal.”

“During filming,” Brinkley continued, “I observed that Danielle’s faith is consistent, her wisdom and pastoral gifts are evident, and her love for her family, friends, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and the Los Angeles Lakers is everything. Rev. Bridgeforth is living our ancestors’ wildest dreams.”

This third installment features a lawyer-turned-pastor. Bridgeforth earned a law degree from Howard University School of Law before earning a Masters of Divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Bridgeforth highlights in the film the similarities and differences between being an attorney and a pastor.

The film “continues the remarkable and courageous stories of clergy who are women,” said Mitch Randall, GFM’s CEO. “These stories celebrate women in leadership and chronicle the day-to-day challenges they face. GFM is proud to partner with BWIM to bring you this outstanding short film.”

Randall approached BWIM in early 2018 with the idea for the series, which quickly became a reality. The first film, “No. 1: Mary Alice,” was released later that year.

BWIM and GFM envisioned the series as a means to:

  • highlight progress in shattering the stained-glass ceiling;
  • discuss where and why significant work remains to expand opportunities for female ministers; and
  • provide churches and faith-based organizations with a new resource to advocate with and for women called to Christian ministry.

After producing and releasing a second film in the series, “No. 2: Tonya” in 2019, the series was sidelined during the pandemic. Shooting on this third installment did not happen until the end of 2021, while many churches – including the Church at Clarendon – were still managing pandemic life. The film’s producers, however, were committed to making sure the film was about Bridgeforth, not a “pandemic church.”

Danielle Bridgeforth“I am both humbled and honored to have been asked by BWIM and GFM to be the subject of their third short film about Baptist women pastors,” said Bridgeforth. “The call of God always comes with a range of emotions and many pressures. Even though we are in the hand of God, we can often feel as if we have been forgotten or overlooked. This experience for me has been a reminder that I am seen and that my story has value. I pray that this project will inspire others to see and follow Christ, perhaps as never before.”

The film, roughly 18 minutes in length, features footage of Bridgeforth’s work in the community and at the church. It also includes interviews with Bridgeforth’s family and friends, as well as some archival photographs.

The premiere will take place at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 13 at the Church at Clarendon (1210 N. Highland Street, Suite A, Arlington, VA 22201). The premiere event will be livestreamed at the church’s website, www.1bc.org.

The event — taking place on Bridgeforth’s fifth anniversary at the church – will include light refreshments, a screening of the film, and a panel discussion with Bridgeforth and the film’s producers.

There is no cost to attend the event and it’s open to all.

“We are so grateful for Good Faith Media and how they use their gifts and platform to highlight the stories of Baptist pastors who are women,” said Meredith Stone, BWIM’s executive director. “Unfortunately, the stories and experiences of women who are pastors are still largely unknown. The visual storytelling found in the documentaries produced in partnership with Good Faith Media, including ‘No. 3: Danielle,’ illuminate powerful stories which can shift perspectives about ways women lead in doing God’s work in this world.”

The first film in the series, “No. 1: Mary Alice,” featured Mary Alice Birdwhistell, then the senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. It premiered in November 2018 and is available to watch for free online here.

The second film, “No. 2: Tonya,” featured Tonya Easterly Vickery, co-pastor (with husband Jeffrey Vickery) of Cullowhee Baptist Church in Cullowhee, North Carolina. It premiered in November 2019 and is available here.

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