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Film sets 'sites' on county

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- With shooting under way, the movie arm of Sherwood Baptist Church got permission Monday to film on location on Dougherty County government facilities and use equipment for production of its newest film, "Courageous."

Movie producer Stephen Kendrick asked the Dougherty County Commission on Monday to allow the crew to shoot on location at sites such as the Dougherty County Jail and to use various sheriff's equipment during production of the film, which promotes the importance of fathers in the home, Kendrick said.

Kendrick told the commission that he and others at Sherwood prayed about the film after their last film, "Fireproof," took off and that God led them to tackle the issue of fatherhood.

"It's an important issue that many in Dougherty County, the state and the rest of the country are coping with right now," Kendrick said. "So, we had a story line and, where 'Fireproof,' centered around a firefighter, 'Courageous' will center around law enforcement."

Specifically, the film will focus on a sheriff's deputy who has trouble coping with a tragedy in his life and his journey to balance his job with his responsibilities as a father.

It was a plot that Sheriff Kevin Sproul, who is a member Sherwood Baptist Church, said he was thrilled to assist with.

"As you know, working with youth was one of my priorities before I became sheriff and I've seen what happens when young men don't have a regular, stable male figure in the home," Sproul said. "I was honored when they came to me and pitched the idea. It's a concept I think we can all get behind."

The film will be Sherwood's fourth movie venture. To date, the church has produced "Flywheel," "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof" -- which Kendrick says has now been shown in 75 countries around the world.

It's the franchise's first PG to PG-13 film, Kendrick said, which would be based largely on the portrayals of violence the sheriff's deputies encounter.

Sherwood also is incorporating another church in the film this go round, Kendrick said. Members of Mt. Zion Baptist Church are being included in the shooting of the film in the first collaboration between churches on a film venture.

Expected to open sometime in 2011, film crews will be shooting around Albany for the next several weeks and on into the summer.

Sherwood merged its filmmaking arm into its own corporation earlier this year, records show.

Sherwood Pictures Ministry Inc. was established Feb. 9 by W. Ralph Rodgers Jr. and James G. McBride Jr. as a domestic, non-profit corporation operated "to further advancement of religion through the production and dissemination of motion pictures, curriculum and other media that inform and educate members of the general public about the Christian faith."