Photo by Dee Ann Lechner
The Tennessee Johnson City Church personal ministries team wanted to reach out to the community during the opening weekend of the movie Hacksaw Ridge. Ken Cooper, personal ministries leader, spoke to the manager at the Carmike Cinema in Johnson City, and received permission for the church members to pass out the Hero of Hacksaw Ridgebook to patrons in the theater on November 4-5, 2016.
On opening night, November 4, a table was set up in the lobby with the free books for anyone who was interested. A small team of church members were waiting outside the show room doors to pass out the books to those who had viewed the movie at 4 p.m.
Those who had just seen the movie were very moved, inspired, and eager to receive the book. They were very gracious and thanked the church members. One woman said to church member Mike Saladino, “Thank you so much. I appreciate this. I will send my friends to see it.” Many others stated they were veterans and appreciated the movie and the book. Still others were curious as to the group’s connection to the movie.
That gave the church members an opportunity to explain that they were from the local Seventh-day Adventist church, and that Desmond Doss had been a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
They explained that the Adventist Church was offering the free book so that they could read about Desmond Doss’ experience and learn more about his faith.
They gave out 200 books between the 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. showings on November 4. The movie was so popular that evening that the 7 p.m. show was sold out and people were choosing to wait to see the 10 p.m. showing. The next day, Sabbath afternoon on November 5, the personal ministries team returned to the theater and passed out another 225 books, making a total of 425 books passed out in just a few short hours over a two-day period.
As Desmond Doss prayed, “Lord help me save one more, just one more.” The Johnson City Church’s prayers are the same: “Lord, one more, help us save just one more.”
They also pray that the movie and book will make a big difference in people’s lives, and not only one more, but many more people will choose to serve the wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!