A Recovering Racist Documentary

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A Recovering Racist: A Documentary

recovering racist title

In 1984, the Rev. R. Lawton Higgs, Sr. had a religious epiphany standing in the turn lane of 8th Avenue N., in Birmingham, Alabama.

“I discovered that my beliefs were incompatible with God’s call to love one another,” he says. In that moment, Lawton became a “recovering racist,” and in the years to follow, he founded a multicultural, multiracial church in the heart of downtown Birmingham, Alabama, ministered to the homeless, and became an advocate for the poor.

This hour-long documentary tells his story and challenges viewers to reconsider their thoughts on race, justice, and grace.

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UAB’s Peace and Justice Conference

We will be showing our documentary A Recovering Racist at a session on Saturday at the Peace and Justice Conference at UAB. 

Trussville, Alabama, screening of documentary on November 22

2:00 p.m.

November 22, 2015

Trussville Public Library
201 Parkway Drive, Trussville, Alabama

Free and open to the public. Join us!

News coverage from Weld for Birmingham

Higgs also told the story of the encounter that changed his life shortly after he came to Birmingham. Crossing the street from his church to invite a couple he had seen unloading their car, he realized the couple was black.

‘I came face to face with my history,’ Higgs says in A Recovering Racist, a new documentary produced by Short and Slay. ‘I was paralyzed there in the road. I knew that God was telling me to invite these people to church. It was in that moment that I became a recovering racist.’”

A Recovering Racist

News coverage from

‘Recovering Racist’ film documents story of pastor who founded church for homeless

The founder of a Birmingham church that cares for the homeless didn’t seek out attention.

But his admirers have created a documentary about his life that documents his commitment to helping the poorest of the poor in Alabama. The film, called “A Recovering Racist,” will have its premiere on Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Beloved Community Church, 131 41st St. South.

It’s the story of the Rev. Lawton Higgs Sr., a retired United Methodist minister who founded the Church of the Reconciler in 1993 in downtown Birmingham. The church quickly became a focal point of outreach to the homeless. The title comes from Higgs’ own description of his ministry, overcoming the racism he says he had to recover from.

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