Religion Communicators Council Names Wilbur Awardees
14 Receive Organization’s Top Honors for Work During 2022


The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) proudly announces 14 Wilbur Award winners to honor excellence by individuals in the secular (non-religious) media for communicating religious issues, values, and themes. These awards were given for work completed in 2022 in the fields of print and online journalism, book publishing, television, and film.

The Wilbur Award is the top honor provided by the RCC and is presented annually to recognize the most outstanding in the communication of religious issues, values, and themes in public secular media.  Each winner will receive individually crafted stained-glass Wilbur trophies.

The awards will be presented Friday, April 21 in Chicago during the RCC’s annual convention, Listening to Life: Telling Stories That Matter, held in conjunction with the Associated Church Press (ACP), the Anabaptist Communicators, and the Canadian Christian Communicators Association (CCCA). The Wilbur Award presentation is open to the public at a cost of $125 per person; those interested in attending can register at

According to Rev. Brian Fesler, president of RCC’s Board of Governors, “Through the awards, we recognize the work of individuals, production companies and agencies as they communicate about religious issues, values and themes with professionalism, fairness, respect and honesty. This year’s Wilbur Award winners highlight stories from across the country and around the world.”

RCC’s Wilbur Award coordinator and RCC Board of Governors member Brad Pomerance notes, “I am so impressed with the scope and depth of the awardees’ work in telling the important story of religious and inspiring themes. Their work is so apropos to our convention focus on telling the stories that matter. It is an honor for RCC to recognize such quality work done in 2022 and to encourage the continuation of quality, compassion and professionalism for the future.”

The Religion Communicators Council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. Secular communicators enter work in several categories. Juries of media professionals, coordinated by council members across the country, evaluate submissions on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values. The award is named for the late Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in religious public relations, longtime council leader and former Presbyterian Church executive.

In addition to the Wilbur Awards, RCC will recognize other exceptional work produced in 2022 at the organization’s annual convention. The Award of Excellence is for entries deemed to be of excellent quality and unquestionably worthy of recognition and the Award of Merit, which is presented for work deemed meritorious and worthy of acknowledgment.

2023 Wilbur Award Winners:

Audio/Audio-Visual Productions:

  • Audio Productions > Audio-Only News Stories
    • “When Does Life Begin? Religions Don’t Agree”, NPR, Sarah McCammon, Jason DeRose
  • Audio Productions > Other Audio Productions
    • Turn the Other Cheek, CBC Radio One, Sean Foley, Producer IDEAS; Greg Kelly, Executive Producer IDEAS
  • Audio-Visual Productions > News Stories (Faith & Values, Hard News & Other)
    • CBS Sunday Morning: An Act of Faith, CBS Sunday Morning, Ted Koppel, Deirdre Cohen, Ed Givnish
  • Audio-Visual Productions > News Stories (Human Interest) (Note: 2 Wilbur Awards presented)
    • 60 Minutes: Lourdes, CBS News 60 Minutes, Bill Whitaker, Nichole Marks, John Gallen, Patrick Lee
    • CBS Sunday Morning: “Stranger at the Gate,” SMARTYPANTS PICTURES, Joshua Seftel, Conall Jones, Avi Bond, Hayden Goldsworthy, Kristin Thompson, Rob Chapman, Steve Benjamin, Collin Friesen, Bobb Barito
  • Audio-Visual Productions > Full-Length AV Productions & Other
    • Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom, Our Daily Bread Ministries, Ya’Ke Smith, Rasool Berry, Matt Huizenga, Ted Harrison
  • Audio-Visual Productions > Major Motion Pictures
    • AULCIE, Hey Jude Productions, Dani Menkin


  • Illustration & Photography
    • Sacred Work, Los Angeles Times, Francine Orr, Chaplain Kevin Deegan 

Written Works:

  • Books
    • Then They Came for Mine: Healing from the Trauma of Racial Violence; Westminster John Knox Press, Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts
  • Magazine Articles
    • Demon Time, Reporter, the LAnd, Sam Kestenbaum
  • Newspaper Articles (Faith & Values) (Note: 2 Wilbur Awards presented)
    • CRT, Trumpism and doubt roil Biola University. Is this the future of evangelical Christianity?, Los Angeles Times, Thomas Curwen
    • Looking at the Forgotten and Overlooked: The Richness of Jewish history, The Forward, Andrew Silverstein
  • Newspaper Articles (Human Interest) (Note: 2 Wilbur Awards presented)
    • Black Catholic nuns: A compelling, long-overlooked history, The Associated Press, David Crary
    • Sacred Rivers, The Associated Press, Chinedu Asadu, Deepa Bharath, Giovanna Dell’Orto, Mariam Fam, Binaj Gurubacharya, Nick Perry

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