The Church of God is well represented in a full-length faith-based feature film titled Inspiration POP 2929, which is based on a book titled The Street Sweeper. Tim Enochs, who is also an executive producer for the movie, wrote the book.
The book and movie are centered on seven revelations taken directly from Scripture that help people live their lives full of what Enochs calls “irrefutable success.”
The stars were out when the film premiered recently in Hendersonville, Tenn., at an invitation-only VIP screening. The premiere was held at TBN’s Trinity Music City. Hollywood veteran Ryan Ramos co-directed the movie.
Country music superstars and Grammy winners Larry Gatlin, who appears in the film and performs a song he wrote based on one of the seven revelations, and Barbara Mandrell were present, along with Louise and Irlene Mandrell. The Mandrells were there in support of Christy Sutherland (Barbara’s daughter-in-law), an award-winning singer/songwriter who makes her movie debut playing the part of Laura Ann, one of the leading roles in the movie.
Another Grammy winner, Christian music artist Jason Crabb, also walked the red carpet at the premiere. Jason makes his acting debut playing himself in the movie—a part he said he had been practicing for all his life. Along with a Grammy, Crabb is also the recipient of several Dove awards, including artist of the year, male vocalist of the year and song of the year.
The lineup of stars continued at the premiere. Christian music artist Regina McCrary, who previously sang backup for Bob Dylan, was also in the movie and on hand to walk the red carpet in Hendersonville, along with Andrea Thomas, who is currently touring as a backup singer for Carrie Underwood.
With all the Christian and country music talent in the movie, there is also a deep-rooted Church of God connection.
Enochs relates the sequence of events for how his book, originally published by Pathway Press, got in the hands of a Hollywood director: “The answer to that question involves several people in the Church of God."
Enoches says that former Lee University student and campus choir member Laura Marie Jones (who was a Lee student and worked at Pathway Press at the time) heard about the book and introduced Enochs to then Pathway Editor-in-Chief Dr. James Cossey. After discussing the book idea with Enochs, Cossey recommended it to Pathway's then Director of Publications Joe Mirkovich, who reached a deal with Enochs for Pathway to publish the book.
“A short time after the book was published, David Ray became my contact person at Pathway,” Enochs continues. “During that time, a filmmaker from London visited David at Pathway to discuss an idea she had for a documentary. After their meeting, David gave her a copy of The Street Sweeper and suggested she consider reading it on her flight back to London. She did, and the rest—as they say—is history!”
Not only is the movie based on a book originally published by Pathway Press, but also the main character (the street sweeper) is based on several Church of God men who have spoken wisdom into Enochs’ life over the years, including his dad, J.B. Enochs, a longtime Church of God Sunday school teacher and local church worship leader; Tim’s great-uncle, George W. Alford, a longtime Church of God minister; and longtime Church of God minister O.L. Hart.
Along with the star-studded musical talent in the movie, the Church of God’s very own Lee University campus choir is featured in the grand finale.
“The Church of God connection doesn’t stop there,” Enochs says. “Church of God World Missions Director Tim Hill wrote the foreword for the book. Church of God first lady and international president of women’s ministries Sandra Kay Williams and son, Ryan, are seen in the movie.”
The Williamses attended the red carpet premiere along with other Church of God officials, pastors and pastors’ wives.
The movie is set in the small fictional American Southern town of Mountain Brook, which is later changed to Inspiration. Inspiration POP 2929 follows a diverse cast of characters as they struggle in their lives. A young musician wishes to share his musical gift with a larger audience; a widow copes with the death of her soldier daughter; a small business owner sacrifices her freedom for the safety of a young runaway; a mechanic finds a family by finding his faith; and a man and woman strengthen their marriage by seeking the Lord’s wisdom.
“The main theme in this film is that you, too, can live a life of irrefutable success if you learn and act upon the things that God has revealed to you,” Enochs concludes. “It asks, ‘Am I truly listening to what God says?’”
The Dove Foundation recently gave the movie a rating of Five Doves, which is the same rating given to the recent faith-based blockbuster movie Courageous.
A trailer for Inspiration POP 2929 can be viewed and the first chapter of The Street Sweeper book can be downloaded on the blog site 7revelations.com. To find out more about the movie and preorder a copy of the DVD, visit inspirationpop2929movie.com.