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Movie’s themes experienced by church that produced it

Posted: 12/29/06
Facing the Giants, a film made by Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany, Ga., has played to audiences in more than a million people in 650 theaters and is now available on DVD.

Movie’s themes experienced
by church that produced it

By George Henson

Staff Writer

ALBANY, Ga.—“Nothing is impossible with God” is a recurring theme throughout Facing the Giants, a feature-length independent movie created by Sherwood Baptist Church.

Now the same theme is evident in the life of the church, where leaders plan to use proceeds from the movie’s upcoming release on DVD to fund a sports outreach facility.

Facing the Giants opened in the fall on more than 400 screens in 86 markets—astronomical totals for a $100,000 religious movie created by a church and starring members of the congregation.

The "deathcrawl" training exercise is featured in the film, in which a player carries another on his back.

In a movie without stars, God is receiving the glory, Pastor Michael Catt said. “It’s done far more than we ever could have anticipated.”

The movie has allowed the church another avenue through which to fulfill the Great Commission, he said.

“We’ve talked a lot about reaching the world from Albany, Ga., and this has been a very tangible way of doing that. We’ve had a lot of mission trips and such, but this is another tangible way of touching this world,” Catt said.

The church received a letter from a football team that lost its first three games before watching the movie and went on to play for the state championship in its division. Other schools have used the themes of “Nothing is Impossible” and “Stonewall” on rallying banners.

Catt also received reports that the University of Arkansas football team watched the film before beating highly regarded Auburn, as did the Mississippi State squad before an upset of the University of Alabama.

“We’ve also had a lot of e-mails from coaches who have said the movie has reminded them of their priorities,” he said.

While the movie may have had a wider impact than expected, in another way Catt is not surprised.

“It’s all an outgrowth of our prayer ministry,” he explained. “We kept our congregation up-to-date on what was going on during production, but it was not framed as announcements, but rather, ‘This is what we really need to pray about this week.’”

The movie has affirmed the congregation’s faith, he said.

“God has given us a great staff and a great people. When you do something like this, you have to be ready to fail. And because they were ready to try something for God, knowing it might not work out, they also gave us the opportunity for this success,” Catt explained.

The home-DVD version of the movie will be released in January, and the church will take the proceeds from the movie and DVD to develop an 82-acre sports complex in the city.

“We originally started with a plan to develop 42 acres, but the man who owned the adjacent 40 acres came to us with just a really great price. So, we went back to the drawing board. Again, God is working to do something exceedingly, abundantly beyond what we imagined,” Catt said.

The sports complex will enable the church to continue its efforts to meet the needs of a community with an inordinate number of single-parent homes. Sherwood Baptist Church has found sports programs to be a good outreach to these families, and the new sports complex will allow those sports programs to grow, Catt explained.

In the same way, Catt prays the DVD will extend the church’s ministry.

“It’s going to have a whole new audience for the DVD, because there were so many communities where we just didn’t get a chance to show the movie in theaters,” he said.

The only sure thing is that expectations will be exceeded, because nothing is impossible with God, he said.

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