David Brainerd: Missionary to the American Indians

DVD Release: December 22, 2015
David Brainerd: Missionary to the American Indians


David Brainerd was one of the most influential yet little known figures of 18th-century American evangelicalism. Filmed at historical locations throughout the northeastern U.S., “David Brainerd: Missionary to the American Indians” tells the story of this visionary missionary whose efforts led to spiritual revival amongst native tribes and inspired generations of Christian leaders to follow in his footsteps.

Dove Review

David Brainerd was one of the most influential, yet little known, figures in 18th-century American evangelicalism. He kept a detailed diary of his life—published later by his friend Jonathan Edwards—which is how we know so much about him.

He was born into a wealthy family and was educated by his parents. The children knew their catechism as well as they knew Latin. They lived in an era influenced by the Puritans. David’s parents died while he was young, so he lived with his sister. As a young man he enrolled in Yale College, only to be expelled.

Brainerd began to preach to Native Americans during the era known as “The Great Awakening.” He wrote often in his journal of feelings of melancholia and vapors, known today as depression. Viewers will see how the American Indians lived and that many were not believers, and how David struggled to engage with them. He had strong faith and accomplished a remarkable amount of Christian work and service in his short life.

He left a strong legacy of missions despite dying at age 29 of tuberculous. This is a beautiful presentation, with several experts and historians interviewed from the northeastern United States, where these events took place. The photography is awesome.

The Dove “Faith-Friendly” Seal for all ages is awarded to this documentary.

Content Description

Faith: None
Violence: None
Sex: None
Language: None
Violence: None
Drugs: None
Nudity: None
Other: None


Company: Gateway Films / Vision Video
Director: Gary Wilkinson
Producer: Gary Wilkinson
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 59 min.
Reviewer: Caryn Toering