Bennie Mitchell, III the son of a late Savannah civil rights leader and pastor is producing a documentary about his father and the shaping of the civil rights movement in Savannah during the last quarter of the 20th century.
“It Is Well” will trace the life and accomplishments of the Rev. Bennie R. Mitchell Jr., a 37-year veteran of the pulpit of Connor’s Temple Baptist Church. “I’ve named this documentary ‘It Is Well’ because I feel that the work Daddy did, he is satisfied with it. He might not have accomplished all he wanted to, but he did the best he could do with the time God gave him, everything is well with his soul.” Mitchell Jr., who died in 2011, was an activist and community leader who helped Savannah’s black community come to grips with and learn to wield the political power that the civil rights movement brought. While known throughout Savannah and the region as a political powerbroker, among Mitchell’s most visible accomplishments were successful efforts to win official local recognition for slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., well ahead of the national declaration of a holiday in King’s honor.
Bennie Mitchell, III, the youngest child of the pastor and his wife, Betty, as well as their only son, has decided to make “It Is Well” to document his father’s life’s work and to capture history of the later stages of the civil rights movement in Savannah that might otherwise go unrecorded. With a possible end-ofyear completion date in mind, the younger Mitchell has organized a fundraiser, seeking to finance the final $50,000 of work needed on the documentary. Mitchell, who runs a Savannah-based audio production company, said he has already put about $285,000 in personal resources into “It Is Well.”
The fundraiser will be held Saturday, June 22, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the parking lot of the Connor’s Temple Education Building – better known as the “Con- Ed” building at 714 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Tickets are $25, and guests will have the opportunity to purchase recordings of sermons, other items, and an exclusive lapel pin to be sold that day only. Major investors can buy into the production to the level of executive producer.
For ticket information, call 912-920-8272 or 646-418-8198. There is also more information at www.facebook.com/revdr.benniermitchelljr.