Fighting crime takes courage. But it also takes courage to raise your family the right way these days. That’s the message of the new faith-based movie, Courageous, which is set to hit theaters next month.
Deputies Mitchell and Fuller (Alex Kendrick and Kevin Downes) search for suspects in "Courageous"
The drama centers around four law enforcement officers who give their best on the job, but who tend to come up short as fathers. And if some enthusiastic local supporters of the movie have their way, hundreds of police officers, firefighters, and paramedics in the Triangle will get to see the film for free.
“Our vision is to send 500 first responders to go see the movie,” says Rally DeLeon, a Raleigh church deacon who is a member of the local “Action Team” that’s getting the word out about Courageous. He and fellow team members Josh Royster, Fred Bosse, and Kim Martin are trying to raise funds now for the effort. They launched a similar project three years ago with another faith-based film, Fireproof, and were and able to send hundreds of first responders to see it at no charge.
“We’ve got a lot of excitement, and lot of initiative in the local area,” DeLeon told me. “We’ve got more partners (this time). The people that were on board before are saying, ‘let’s build upon what we did before in ’08.’ And so we’re just coming together as a team and trying to leverage each other’s strengths and contacts and share it with the first responders.”
Like Fireproof and Facing the Giants (which came out in 2006), Courageous was produced by Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany, Georgia. Although made on modest budgets, the previous two films ended up making millions in sales and rentals. Sherwood’s pastor, the Rev. Michael Catt, told fellow pastors at a recent convention that Sherwood wanted to focus on fathers for its next film because "as fathers go, so goes the family, and so goes the church, and so goes the nation."
Says DeLeon: “I think there’s a message in Courageous that would help any man regardless of their belief system. It’s about being involved, about being committed, about being courageous and doing our very best. It’s not so much feeling guilty. Doing our best always stretches us.”
DeLeon say the Action Team hopes to raise $12,500 to send the local first responders to the movie, but they’re only about a quarter of the way there. If you’d like to make a tax deductible contribution – or if you’re a Raleigh-area first responder interested in the free screening, go to this website for more information.
Courageous is set to open nationally on September 30th. And although it was shot in Georgia, folks in the Triangle may see a couple of local faces in it. That part of the story in my blog next week.
A couple of large Durham-based churches are expanding their reach into Wake County. King's Park International Church opens its Raleigh campus on Sunday (August 28th), operating out of Wiley Elementary School. And on the same day, The Summit Church launches its Cary campus at Cary High School. Summit already has four other locations in Durham and Raleigh.
Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh dedicates a new Wayne County Church on Sunday, August 28th. Construction of the new parish church in Mt. Olive, to be named Our Lady of the Angels, got underway in late 2010.
They say prayer changes things… but can it lead to drug busts? That’s what they’re saying in one rural Tennessee county, as detailed in this report.