There is a tension you must hold in Perry County, Alabama, between strength and fragility, beauty and dismay, resilience and defeat. The moment you discount its people and cry “poverty,” Perry County bewilders you with overwhelming abundance and gratitude. The moment you discover the outright richness of life there, you must contend with the exhaustive power of poverty to steal home, health and even your next meal.
Alabama: Perry County is a series about holding a healthy tension between a perspective of scarcity and one of joy and strength. What, in all realities, appears to be extreme poverty may actually represent generations of strong, resilient families who have made a true home in Perry County.
Twenty years ago, Frances Ford left her nursing career in Selma, Ala., to seek justice and development among her lifelong neighbors in Perry County. She speaks in this video about change in Perry County.
Twenty years ago, Frances Ford left her nursing career in Selma, Ala., to seek justice and development among her lifelong neighbors in Perry County. She speaks in this video about justice in Perry County.
LaQuenna Lewis serves as leader of CET ministries, a nonprofit of Eagle Grove Baptist Church and one of Sowing Seeds of Hope’s newest development partners. She speaks in this video about working in Perry County.
Willie Roy and Jennie Bell King helped build their new home in Marion through Sowing Seeds of Hope’s self-help housing initiative. They speak and sing in this video about their experience.
Since 2016, that liturgy of roots music and candid conversation about faith has distinguished Hall’s Sunday morning radio program Gospel Gothic as an unlikely yet utterly compatible force among Macon, Ga.’s most devout church-goers as well as its most resolved agnostics.
The hosts of the Gospel Gothic radio hour — Jake Hall, pastor of Highland Hills Baptist Church in Macon, Ga., as well as Wes Griffith and Brad Evans, local entrepreneurs and owners of 100.9 FM The Creek — are inviting Macon and listeners around the country to join them each Sunday morning in exploring “faith, music and meaning in the Christ-haunted South.”
The day Jake Hall discovered 100.9 FM The Creek, he nearly plowed through a red light into oncoming traffic. As Hall approached the Spring Street bridge in Macon, Ga., to pass over the Ocmulgee River, Darrell Scott’s “Down to the River” on the radio suddenly broke through his humdrum focus with communion of another kind.