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Local churches rally to bring 'Fireproof' to Shallotte

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Members of New Beginnings Church, led by pastor Brad Ferguson, were excited about seeing “Fireproof,” a Christian-themed movie from the producers of 2006’s “Facing the Giants.”

“It had volunteers in the cast and no big names, but it was very well received in our area,” Ferguson said recently of “Facing the Giants.”

When he and some of the church members heard about “Fireproof,” starring former teen actor Kirk Cameron as a firefighter in a troubled marriage who turns to God, they were excited about seeing it.

Ferguson contacted Frank Theaters Coastal Stadium 10 in Shallotte about renting out one of the showings for a church group.

“They said they weren’t going to be getting it,” he recalled “They told me if we wanted to bring it to the theater, we would have to guarantee 1,000 tickets.”

That’s when Ferguson decided to get to work. He called several churches in the area, and by word of mouth alone, pulled together enough support for 1,000 tickets.

In addition to New Beginnings, Camp and Sharon United Methodist churches, First Baptist Church of Shallotte, the Brunswick Baptist Association and a few local businesses all contributed money for tickets.

Coastal Cinemas made good on their word. “Fireproof” will premiere Sept. 26, and four showings are scheduled at the theater. Tickets are only available through sponsoring churches.

“We have a good number of tickets we can distribute around the community to other churches that didn’t put up money up front,” Ferguson explained.

The movie tells the story of a firefighter in a nearly failed marriage whose father urges him to take a 40-day “love dare,” before going through with a divorce, performing the daily actions suggested in a devotional book.

“When Caleb discovers the book’s daily challenges are tied into his parents’ newfound faith, his already limited interest is further dampened,” according to the plot synopsis on the movie’s Web site, www.fireproofthemovie.com.

“While trying to stay true to his promise, Caleb becomes frustrated time and again. He finally asks his father, ‘How am I supposed to show love to somebody who constantly rejects me?’

“When his father explains that this is the love Christ shows to us, Caleb makes a life-changing commitment to love God. And—with God’s help—he begins to understand what it means to truly love his wife.”

“Their marriage is saved. It’s a great story,” said Ferguson. “It’s a faith-based film with a very obvious message about Jesus Christ and his ability to help us. We wanted people in the community to have an opportunity to see it.”

Christa Phibbs, general manager at Coastal Stadium, said fall is a good time to show a movie with local interest, and she’s expecting a good turnout.

“The movie really speaks to what a lot of our viewers and loyal patrons have been asking for,” she said.

Phibbs said the turnout for the movie would affect what types of movies the theater receives in the future.

Jeff Gibbey, director of missions at the Brunswick Baptist Association, said he was excited to participate because of the film’s message.

“It has a great message for marriages and might even help some people to stay committed and communicate. It offers a great challenge to married people,” he said.

Gibbey and his staff sent e-mails, started phone trees and sent announcements through the mail to local churches about buying tickets.

“I think it will be packed,” he said. “We have 142 tickets here, and 75 people have already reserved seats.”

“I’m really excited about what this could do for families and marriages in our community,” added Ferguson.

To purchase tickets or for more information, contact Sharon, Camp, New Beginnings, First Baptist or the Brunswick Baptist Association.

sarah shew wilson is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or swilson@brunswickbeacon.com.