Church Uses Hit Film ‘Fireproof’ in Marriage Discussion

Post a Comment » Written on April 29th, 2009     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (April 29, 2009) – Dozens of Evangelical Covenant churches have shown the surprising hit movie Fireproof and used accompanying materials to help couples strengthen their marriages.

The movie finished fourth at the box office when it opened in limited release last September and raked in $6.5 million. It went on to make more than $33 million, according to the-numbers.com website. The film, which co-stars Kirk Cameron, cost only $500,000 to make.

It was produced by the same people who were behind Facing the Giants, which also did surprisingly well and ultimately grossed $10 million over a four-month run.

Few people expected Fireproof to do as well as it did. “We raced to see it because we were afraid it was going to come and go pretty quickly,” says Andy Hopp, director of Christian formation at Zion Covenant Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

The film focuses on the marital struggles of Fire Department Capt. Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron), who has put his career ahead of his marriage to wife Catherine (Erin Bethea). But it had a good theater run and was released in January on DVD.

“This was a much better film than Facing the Giants,” says Bill Goodale, executive pastor of Summit Covenant Church in Cary, North Carolina. “It wasn’t predictable.”

Sixty people showed up to watch the movie on a Friday night in the church’s multipurpose sanctuary, says Goodale. A class that followed recently wrapped up to good reviews.

Zion Covenant held its class in the time between when the movie left the theaters and was released on DVD. The accompanying material includes clips of the film, so those who had not seen the movie could participate. There were times when class members who had seen the film still needed to give context to those who had not, says Hopp.

“It generated a lot of good discussion,” says Hopp, adding that the class was a good mix people who had been married for several decades and couples that had been married less that five years.

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