LOVE GOES PUBLIC is the true story of an unlikely principal’s contagious courage and outspoken faith that transformed the failing schools of Alabama’s “Black Belt.”

Ten years ago Brenda Sullen was asked to rescue a public high school on the brink of chaos. Dropout rates skyrocketing. Crime in the hallways. Drugs and teenage pregnancy creating a dead-end for student’s dreams. Faculty and staff couldn’t keep up with the challenges.

With no experience, dwindling financial resources, and little state support, Principal Sullen turned to the two strengths she knew best: her deep faith in Jesus and her tragedy-to-triumph life story.

Mrs. Sullen and her eighteen siblings grew up in poverty in rural South Georgia. She became an All-American college athlete, mother, wife, and passionate advocate to see others like her turn their tragedies into triumphs.

“God is the key to our story,” she says.

The story of Booker T Washington High School and Notasulga High School is the story of faithfulness --- by Principal Sullen and by thousands of students. Year by year the once dire statistics turned from glimpses of hope and then into head-shaking testimonials of the impossible. With dropout rates at 40% and teen pregnancy way above state averages, in three short years the graduation rate hit 100% with zero new teen pregnancies.

“Love is what love does,” is a motto that defines Mrs. Sullen’s unwavering dedication to “her babies,” as she calls her students. Where some question her bold moves and brash leadership style, the results are indisputable: her public faith has turned around a school, a community, and the once improbable dreams of students.

Filmed by an award-winning director of photography, Oscar-winning producer, and an executive producer with 38 years working side-by-side with students, volunteers, and communities, LOVE GOES PUBLIC is an inspiring American story of what happens when a person’s passionate faith meets a community’s desperate need.

65 minutes
Not Rated

Cast & Crew

  • Kevin Flannagan

    Executive Producer, Producer

  • Allison Wilmarth


  • Kevin Flannagan


  • Tim Patton

    Unit 2 Director

  • Russell Fill

    Director of Photography

Executive Producers

Todd and Toni Holt
Howard and Katherine Porter
Tim and Kim Hudson
Scott Bridge Co.
Scott Land Co.
Andy and Jill Carter
Katherine Lipscomb
Katherine Groves
Brelinda Sullen
RPM Holdings LLC
Cleat and Rhonda Simmons
Bill and Lee Parr

Catering provided by:
Ross House Coffee

Web Development provided by:
Chris Flannagan