Written by: Frank Canizares
In 2020, “Humans of Adventism” (HoA) embarked on a mission to address the misrepresentation and misunderstanding of Adventism to the world. In the process, a 10-episode docuseries featuring the lives of Seventh-day Adventists was produced.
Each episode provides a diverse collection of stories and perspectives, sometimes even contradictory values. The series was shot in the places where the interviewees live, work and spend their lives. Due to their commitment, HoA presents individuals as who they are, not as how Adventists may want them to be. HoA has not hidden or concealed items such as jewelry or tattoos.
In 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, Kaleb Eisele, the creator and director of the series, and Justin Khoe, a cinematographer and creator of the YouTube channel, Justin Khoe, and a small team traveled across the United States to interview Seventh-day Adventists.
As the producers explain in the series’ trailer, HoA takes viewers visually through a journey of exploring the psyche and the worldviews of Seventh-day Adventists across the United States.
Natalia Perez and Phillip Warfield, both Southern alumni, were featured in the new HoA docuseries.
“I met Phillip when he was a student at Southern at the Society of Adventist Communicators convention in 2018,” Eisele said. “Natalia worked with me early on Humans of Adventism. I was not on Instagram then when it first came out; I was exclusively on Facebook. Natalia helped build out the Instagram side of HoA.”
As Eisele started to build the audience for HoA on Instagram, he reached out to Perez because he liked how she designed her Instagram highlight bubbles.
“He wanted to get a price, and I told him I will do it for free,” Perez said. “Kaleb is a really empowering person who sees people. He finds younger people he thinks are doing cool work and builds them up. He wants to get you involved. It is such an honor to be included in the series. They interviewed me, and I was also in the trailer.”
When Eisele was messaging people, getting their photos and stories, and putting them on Facebook, he reached out to Warfield. Since then, they’ve built a relationship.
“I was a guest, actually the last person in the film,” Warfield said. “As for my relationship with Kaleb and Justin, we met back in 2018 when [Eisele] was still trying to get [HoA] off the ground. Since then, we’ve just back and forth been building this relationship. I guess two creatives just bouncing things off of each other, encouraging each other.”
Eisele believes everyday life stories can build interpersonal relationships.
“We are convinced that everyday experiences and stories are crucial to building healthier interpersonal relationships in the SDA church,” Eisele said.
The docuseries is featured on HoA’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, @humansofadventism, as well as on Justin Khoe’s YouTube channel, @justinkhoe.