FRANKLIN, Tenn. (BP)–Kirk Cameron appreciates the popularity the ’80s sitcom “Growing Pains” gave him via the role of Mike Seaver.
But, Cameron said, “It’s been a far greater honor to play Buck Williams in ‘Left Behind’ than anything else I have done.”
The lead role in the movie “has given me the opportunity express what I believe in a very special way,” Cameron said Jan. 16 in the first of several “Left Behind: ‘A Night of Worship’ Tour” concert-and-video events preceding the film’s Feb. 2 opening in movie theaters nationwide.
The Jan. 16 performance in Franklin, Tenn., attracted nearly 2,000 Left Behind enthusiasts from the Nashville area to meet Cameron, who plays a TV journalist in Left Behind, and his wife, Chelsea Noble, a fellow entertainment figure who also stars in the movie.
The evening also featured several recording artists from the movie’s soundtrack: Bob Carlisle of “Butterfly Kisses” Grammy fame, Brian Duncan, SHINEmk and Joy Williams. First Baptist Church, Franklin, also known as “The People’s Church,” hosted the multimedia event.
Stops are slated Jan. 18 in Birmingham, Ala., at the Cathedral of the Cross; Jan. 22 at Atlanta’s First Baptist Church; Jan. 23 at Germantown Baptist Church in metro Memphis, Tenn.; Jan. 25 in Springdale, Ark., at First Baptist Church; Jan. 29 at Houston’s Second Baptist Church; Jan. 30 in Austin, Texas, at Shoreline Christian Center; and Feb. 1 in San Antonio, Texas, at First Baptist Church of Castle Hills.
The movie, which as a video already has sold more than 1 million copies, is based on the “Left Behind” book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. “The Mark,” the eighth in the series, currently is on the nation’s best-seller charts, moving overall sales of Left Behind books toward 25 million.
The Left Behind series explores various story lines involving the end times.
The concert-and-video tour was sparked by an Oct. 17 “Left Behind: ‘A Night of Worship'” attended by more than 7,000 people at Prestonwood Baptist Church in north metro Dallas. Nearly 175 people recorded professions of faith in Christ that night.
George King, general manager of Franklin-based Reunion Records, which was involved in the recording of the soundtrack, told The Tennessean, “We originally thought the one show would be it, but we realized the film and the books have such drawing power that we wanted to share the message in a unique concert setting featuring highlights from the film, the musicians and the stars.”
Cameron was quoted by The Tennessean as saying that people who have read the New Testament Book of Revelation have “wondered what it all means.”
“There’s a possibility this stuff is going to happen,” Cameron said, “so I hope the movie will make people take a look at how authentic their own faith is and consider the truths of the Bible.”
Among quoted endorsers of the Left Behind film, recording artist Rebecca St. James said, “I really think that people will be challenged to think about whether or not they are ready for Jesus to come back.” Christian financial expert Larry Burkett, meanwhile, called Left Behind, which was produced in Toronto by Cloud Ten Pictures, “a most compelling film, worthy of your entertainment dollar.”
“This film is sensitively written, beautifully directed, acted and produced,” Pat Boone is quoted as saying. “I feel it’s certainly one of the very best Christian-produced films ever made.”
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: KIRK AND CHELSEA, BOB CARLISLE, and MOVIE CONCERT TOUR.