American Faith by Christopher Churchill

American Faith is an exploration into the inherent human need to be connected to something greater. It documents faith as a universal part of the human experience and the various ways this is manifested throughout the United States. I began this project in 2004 at the height of political and cultural tension in a post September 11th America. The topic of religion was fueling intolerance, bigotry, nationalism, and negatively influencing our societies perspective of its self. Personal faith had been tied to religion in a way that inverted the hierarchy of the two. It’s meaning was redefined to describe radical religious actions and righteousness rather then the universal commonality it brings to humanity. In our migrant society there is little opportunity for meaningful interaction with strangers and those who may be different. It is these elements that caused Americans to see the idea of faith as something that exists only in large religious groups rather then the individual manifestation of being connected to something greater that we all experience.

While the reasons for making this work would evolve these initial observations served as the impetuous for me to begin. I had decided to travel through every state in the country, photographing strangers and collecting stories of their experiences in being a part of something greater. Always in a visceral, fluid way, never planning where to go, I would place my own faith in a certain random process. I would abandon efforts of trying and instead allow events to inform each other. I began to collect physical evidence in images and recordings of there being a larger sequence of events in the world. Testing my own faith in this process everyday. One event would influence another and I would slowly work my way into an almost predestine path of mariachi bands and hudderite colonies.

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Christopher Churchill is a Boston, Massachusetts based artist.
To view more of Christopher's work, please visit his website


Visitors at the Grand Canyon, East Entrance AZ 2007 

Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova TN 2009  

Minister Rodney Muhammad and Laycolian Muhammad Dorchester, MA 2006 

Hudderite Classroom Gilford, MT 2005  

Thomas Putnam and Thomas Putnam Jr. Ponca City OK 2009 

Private Greg Melendez, Acoma NM 2007 

Darleen and Marcus Obi, Ho River Reservation WA 2007 

Julie Schuster, Roswell NM 2007 

“Shana”, Wells NV 2007  

Velma Mitchell, South Dallas TX 2007 

Suad Maow, Brookline MA 2006 

Priestess Miriam Shamani, New Orleans LA 2005 

Friends Drinking, Ozark National Park, AK 2009 

Dewey Chafin, Jolo WV 2004 

Dollywood, Pigeon Forge TN 2004 

Mariachi Band, Toppenish WA 2007 

Girl at her Quincenera, Toppenish WA 2007 

Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano TX 2007 

Potato Processing Plant, MT Vernon WA 2007 

Pentecostal Service, Jolo WV 2004