Churches Push to Bring Christian Film to St. Augustine | Community Spirit

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Churches Push to Bring Christian Film to St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Ralenda Johnson of St. Augustine was planning an outing for her Sunday School class to see the Christian film "Courageous".

But she found out that the movie was not going to play in St. Augustine theaters, possibly because St. Augustine was not considered a large enough city.

Johnson said, "I just couldn't understand how a movie like that would come to here."

So she called the manager at Epic Theaters in St. Augustine and asked why it was not coming. Johnson said he told her to call the promoters of the movie. She did and she was somehow able to convince them that at least 1,000 thousand tickets would be pre-sold in St. Augustine.

She chuckled and told First Coast News that afterward, "I was thinking this is crazy. I don't even know a thousand people! I don't know 100 people in St. Augustine!"

Through a social media blitz, many St. Augustine churches heard about the movie and the situation and bought hundreds of tickets to see it and keep in at EPIC Theaters.  The churches wanted people in St. Augustine to hear the movie's message.

Because "Courageous" is about police officers who want to be better fathers, churches also bought tickets to give away to local first responders.

The enthusiasm from St. Augustine Churches got Angelita Nelson's attention.  She's one of the actresses in the movie, she lives in Jacksonville, and she spent Monday afternoon in St. Augustine promoting the film.

"Every ticket that's sold is a voice to Hollywood saying these are the kind of films we want to see more of. They hear that voice," Nelson explained, "they know there's that demand and they're going to bring it!"

Courageous opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, September 30th.

As for Johnson, she's overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from local churches and the interest which has been generated in St. Augustine and Palatka.

"I thought I was just promoting a movie at a local theater and it's become much more. We're so proud to be in St. Augustine and have it here," she said with a smile.

Courageous is rated P-13 due to drugs and some violence.

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