Colorectal cancer screening, while effective for reducing mortality, remains underutilized particularly among underserved populations such as African Americans. The present study evaluated a spiritually based approach to increasing Health Belief Model-based pre-screening outcomes in a Community Health Advisor-led intervention conducted in African American churches. Sixteen urban churches were randomized to receive either the spiritually based intervention or a nonspiritual comparison of the same structure and core colorectal cancer content. Trained Community Health Advisors led a series of two educational sessions on colorectal cancer early detection. The educational sessions were delivered over a 1-month period. Participants (N=316) completed a baseline survey at enrollment and a follow-up survey one month after the first session. Both interventions resulted in significant pre/post increases in knowledge, perceived benefits of screening, and decreases in perceived barriers to screening. Among women, the spiritually based intervention resulted in significantly greater increases in perceived benefits of screening relative to the nonspiritual comparison. This finding was marginal in the sample as a whole. In addition, perceived benefits to screening were associated with behavioral intention for screening. It is concluded that in this population, the spiritually based was generally as effective as the nonspiritual (secular) communication. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.