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OPINION

'Courageous' church gives $100,000 to int'l missions

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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ROCKVILLE, Va. (BP) -- A few days before the movie, "Courageous," was released, Michael Catt, pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., -- the church that produced the film -- acknowledged that projects such as this have blessed the congregation with tremendous resources and opportunities.
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Catt spoke at a staff retreat for the International Mission Board Sept. 27-28 at the International Learning Center in Rockville, Va. He presented IMB President Tom Elliff with a book printed in 1899 by the Church of England. The book was filled with stories of how God answered prayers for the church's missionaries.

Catt shared a few words from the book, noting there is still much work to be done.

A check for $100,000 was inside the book.

The gift from Sherwood will go toward supporting nearly 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries serving overseas.

"We get resources through the films," Catt said. "My prayer is, 'God, we want to get it from Your hand and out of our hand as quickly as we can. We don't want to hold on to it.'"

Elliff thanked the church, calling the gift an "eternal investment."

The revenue from Sherwood's movies is split multiple ways, and the church gets only a portion of it. The majority of the gross goes to theater owners and the church's film partners -- Sony Pictures, for instance. Still, the church has made enough money from its films to make a difference in several ministries, including building an 82 acre sports park that is open to Albany, Ga., residents. A white 110-foot cross stands in the middle of the park.

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On its opening weekend, more than 1 million people saw Courageous. It finished its first weekend at No. 4 in total gross and No. 1 in per-theater average and was the No. 1 new movie. Heading into its third weekend, it remains the top-rated film by fans at Fandango.com, a leading ticketing website.

Compiled by International Mission Board and Baptist Press staff.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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