Dec. 18, 2020
Best of the States
All-formats team tells the shared story of rural Missouri churches, immigrants, adversity and faith
It’s a story of two churches in rural Missouri, only 30 miles apart — and worlds apart.
One congregation is mostly white, while the other offers services in five languages with members from around the world. The pandemic has united them, with pastors meeting to support each other, share ideas and figure out how to continue ministering to this region hit disproportionately by the coronavirus.
The team of national writer David Crary, youth and religion reporter Luis Andres Henao and video journalist Jessie Wardarski earned the trust of residents to produce an intimate all-formats story, revealing diverse Midwestern communities that aren't famous but are integral to the nation’s identity.
For compelling coverage of communities united in adversity and navigating with faith, the team of Crary, Henao and Wardarski wins this week’s Best of the States award.