Hello and welcome back for our third post since the summer break here at the “Church of Christ Celebrities” blog! Feel free to share any thoughts or topic suggestions over at the Contact page, and like and share on Facebook or your social media platform of choice.
Whereas our previous two entries have focused on various groups of celebrities (football players in one case, the Robertson family in the other), we’ll slow down today and zero in on the religious affiliation of actress and director Kim Fields (1969-). Fields is perhaps best known for playing Tootie on the long-running NBC sitcom The Facts of Life, and in more recent years, she has made appearances on reality and competition shows like The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Dancing with the Stars.
In 2017, Fields starred in A Question of Faith, in which she portrayed a preacher’s wife. As the movie was being filmed in Marietta, Georgia, Fields spoke to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about her own spirituality, saying that “My faith keeps me grounded, rooted, connected… my faith is at the core of my very being.” (1) Too, in her autobiography, Fields mentions her status as an alumnus of Pepperdine University, a school which is associated with Churches of Christ. She adds that “the school’s Christian affiliation was… a key factor” in her choice to go there, and notes that she was “involved in the religious side of Pepperdine, as were most undergrads there.” (2) Could there be a connection between the fellowship and Fields?
Conclusive proof may be out of reach this week, but the Adherents entry on Fields contains a paragraph-length quotation from noted Churches of Christ scholar Tom Olbricht, which apparently came from the comments section on a no-longer-existent “Stone-Campbell Archives” website. (That was quite a sentence!) Assuming that the Adherents quotation of Olbricht’s original comment is reliable, Fields was a religion minor at Pepperdine, and Olbricht actually taught her in an Old Testament Theology class. However, Olbricht also described Fields as “quite religious in some sort of an evangelical Baptist church. She occasionally spoke to church groups and probably still does so.” (3)
Though faith seems to be a major factor in Fields’s life, the admittedly limited sources indicate that her primary connection to Churches of Christ was through her time at Pepperdine rather than through any ongoing link with the group. This week’s subject, therefore, is DEBUNKED, at least in part. Check back in again in a couple of weeks as we gear up for the baseball postseason here at the “Church of Christ Celebrities” blog!
(1) Jennifer Brett, “Kim Fields movie ‘A Question of Faith’ films in Marietta,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 27, 2016, accessed July 4, 2018, https://www.ajc.com/entertainment/movies/kim-fields-movie-question-faith-films-marietta/Bdb0KZvMkCeLvpknp6xaoN/.
(2) Kim Fields, Blessed Life: My Surprising Journey of Joy, Tears, and Tales from Harlem to Hollywood. With Todd Gold. New York: FaithWords, 2017, 71, 43, 56.
(3) “The Religious Affiliation of Actress Kim Fields,” Adherents, October 4, 2005, accessed July 4, 2018, http://www.adherents.com/people/pf/Kim_Fields.html.