Vic Kennett, CEO of Kerusso, stands with shipments of Christian-themed apparel. Based in Berryville, Ark., the company has exclusive rights to manufacture and sell shirts and caps with messages from the upcoming Sherwood Baptist movie, Courageous.
BERRYVILLE, Ark. -- On August 15, Kerusso began its exclusive sale of shirts and caps inspired by the highly anticipated film "Courageous," company sources say.
Courageous is the fourth in a line of popular Christian-based movies produced by Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany.
"Kerusso and Sherwood Pictures are a great partnership, said Kerusso founder and CEO Vic Kennett. "We both want to share vital biblical truths through channels we know well. Film for Sherwood and apparel for Kerusso. We couldn't be more excited to help extend the important message of Courageous."
Although the film has not yet been released to general audiences, Kennett has viewed it "four times," he said, and screened it for his approximately 100 employees and for law enforcement personnel in the town of Berryville.
In the film, Kinnett says four men share one calling: To serve and protect. As law police officers, they are confident and focused. At the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood.
To parallel the Sherwood movie, Kerusso is producing four T-shirt designs, a cap, and a hooded sweatshirt, each building on key themes in the movie, Kennet said.
Product messages include: "Honor Begins at Home," "My Husband Is A Rich Man," and "I Will."
"The average "message" T-shirt is read about 3,000 times over the garment's life," Kennett said, "making Kerusso shirts a powerful extension of the film's vital theme of godly fatherhood."
Kennett began the company nearly 25 years ago in a spare room of his home. Kerusso now ships T-shirts, gifts and jewelry from its 65,000-square-foot facility to more than 5,000 retail outlets in 90 countries.
Kinnett said that as a young man in Arkansas, he made his living in construction. He had wondered for a long time if that were the thing he was "meant to do," and asked God for the answer. While on a job one day, his attention went to a group of tourists, wearing T-shirts with Christian messages on the fronts.
"That was in 1986," Kinnett said, "and I just thought it was really cool. I said 'I can do that. That's what I'd like to do.' "
Kerusso is the official licensee for "Courageous" related T-shirts and caps, with exclusive rights to sell them. The relationship began with Sherwood's first film, "Fireproof" and has continued.
"We've been invited back once again," Kennett said. "We're excited to be a part that process. It will be commercially successful for us, as well. We have about 20 families to support at Kerusso."
Kinnett urges people to be "T-shirt evangelists."
"I tell folks, you don't have to have all the answers. Just change your shirt and change the world. Put it on and see what God does."