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Ministers hope to inspire public through movie

In an echo of the furor that surrounded “The Passion of TheChrist,” area ministers have formed a coalition that will have them”Facing The Giants.”

Although the coalition does not expect the independent “FacingThe Giants” to enrapture audiences like Mel Gibson’s movie, they dobelieve it provides an enormous evangelical opportunity and arestriving to raise the necessary funding to bring the movie toBrookhaven.

“We can give tickets on the street or to those who might benefitfrom the movie,” said Macedonia Baptist Church Youth Minister TommyBrogan, a spokesman for the coalition. “We want to use thesetickets especially to reach the kids who might be going throughthese issues.”

The movie, based on a true story, chronicles high school headfootball coach Grant Taylor’s conversion to Christ and the effectit had on his team.

In his six year’s of coaching, Taylor had never had a winningseason. Even the hope of a new season is squelched when the bestplayer on his Shiloh Eagles decides to transfer schools. Afterlosing the first three games of the season, the coach discovers agroup of fathers are plotting to have him fired. Combined withpressures at home, Taylor has lost hope in his battle against fearand failure.

However, an unexpected challenge finds purpose bigger than justvictories. Daring to trust God to do the impossible, Taylor and hisEagles discover faith plays out on – and off – the field.

“This movie is going to give us a positive glimpse in whatChrist can do in our lives,” Brogan said. “I think the real lifesituations are the ones that mean the most.”

The battle against fear and failure illustrated in the movieshould resonate well with everyone, but especially the children, hesaid.

“Fear is big issue and this movie looks like it might addressthat nicely,” Brogan said.

Many children face fears on a daily basis, he said, from lowself-esteem, parental divorce, the loss of a relationship, loss ofparental employment to other issues.

The movie is not overtly Christian, but was given a PG ratingfor its thematic religious elements and is most likely suited forolder children due to the issue of infertility as a subplot and anintense scene where the coach loses his temper.

The American Family Association has lended its support inpromoting the movie.

“Facing The Giants” opened Thursday in about 400 theatersnationwide, but is only carried in six Mississippi venues. None arecloser than Jackson.

“We could drive our groups to these theaters, but bringing it toBrookhaven gives us much more flexibility,” Brogan said. “We wouldbe able to buy blocks of tickets for our church members, localfootball teams, or to use for evangelical purposes like what we didfor ‘The Passion of The Christ’,” he said.

Pastor Danny Singleton of Easthaven Baptist Church, FirstBaptist Church Youth Minister and Brookhaven High School FootballTeam Chaplain Mike Brister and Brogan are seeking to raise a totalof $7,000 in pledges to bring the movie to Brookhaven’s West BrookTwin Cinema.

The coalition has already raised approximately $5,000 in pledgesfrom local businesses and individuals, leaving them $2,000, orapproximately 268 pre-purchased tickets, short.

“Those who pledge will get that amount in tickets,” Brogansaid.

The youth minister is asking that anyone pledging to purchasetickets buy at least eight tickets, a pledge of approximately$50.

“Our main goal is getting to that $7,000. People can purchaseindividual tickets when, of if, we can get the movie here,” Brogansaid.

Pledges can be made by calling Brogan at (601) 757-9696.

The movie can appear at Brookhaven’s West Brook Twin Cinemawithin two to three weeks of the distributor receiving the pledge,Brogan said, through an arrangement between the film’s distributor,Provident Films, and the theater owner.

The move was independently produced by Carmel Entertainment andSherwood Pictures, a division of the 2,700 member Sherwood BaptistChurch in Albany, Ga. Church members volunteered the $100,000 usedin funding the production, which was written, produced and directedby brothers Stephen and Alex Kendrick, the church’s media andteaching pastors. The cast is all volunteer.

The proceeds of the film are earmarked for a $2.5 million,40-acre youth recreational park for the community of Albany.