Skip to main content

“Baehr: ‘Entertainment can be redeemed’”

Media Winners photo

MEDIA WINNERS — Among the award winners at the Mississippi Baptist Witnessing Through Media annual conference May 2-3 at Park Place Church, Brandon were (from left) Jason Blackburn of Hillcrest Church, New Albany; Brad McMullan of Broadmoor Church, Madison; Damon Burgess of First Church, Jackson; Chris Williamson of Pinelake Church, Brandon; Pam Warren of First Church, Jackson; J.C. Howell of Colonial Heights Church, Ridgeland; Alan Stevens of Bel Aire Church, Gulfport; Ronnie Martin of First Church, Brandon; and Nolan Bishop of Nolan Bishop Ministries in Magee. (Photo by William H. Perkins Jr.)

By William H. Perkins Jr. Editor

Christians were respected members of the Hollywood set during the golden age of American movies – and can be again, according to Ted Baehr Jr., publisher of the conservative Christian magazine Movieguide and author of more than a dozen books on Christians and the entertainment media.

“Entertainment can be redeemed,” Baehr told an audience of Mississippi Baptists gathered May 2 at Park Place Church, Brandon, for the annual Witnessing Through Media awards dinner. “We retreated from a mission field, and we should never retreat from a mission field.”

Baehr, the son of 1930s cowboy movie star Robert “Tex” Allen and chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission, said great movies are great stories well-told with a spiritually inspiring worldview. Those movies perform much better at the box office than violent and sexually explicit films, he observed.

Baehr stressed that the most powerful people in Hollywood are the 12-24 year olds who make up the vast majority of moviegoers. He quoted a Los Angeles Times study that found 74% of females and 58% of males in that age group are offended by cursing and sexual material in films.

Sharing Ideas photo

SHARING IDEAS — Gene Neal (right) pastor of First Church, Quitman, talks with Ted Baehr Jr., publisher of the conservative Christian magazine Movieguide and author of more than a dozen books on Christians and the entertainment, at the 2008 Mississippi Baptist Witnessing through Media awards dinner May 2 at Park Place Church, Brandon. Neal is holding a certificate of recognition awarded to First Church, Quitman, for their work in the media field. (Photo by William H. Perkins Jr.)

“They are on our side,” Baehr told the dinner attendees. “They want our guidance. They want people to help them.”

Baehr said many parents are in denial about the influence of the entertainment media on young people. “In some places I go, they say, ‘My child is too intelligent to be influenced by the media.’ Actually, the more intelligent a child is, the more they are influenced by the media because their imaginations are better.

“So I say to them, ‘If you child is not influenced by the media, he probably has the intelligence of a cucumber.”

The good news is that children can be taught to be media-wise with a great deal of parent involvement, he said. He recommended parents visit his web site, www.movieguide.com, for information and resources.

“We had a record number of entries in our awards competition this year,” said Ian Richardson, communication services director for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board and coordinator of the Witnessing Through Media conference. “These entries, which included television, radio, and Websites, were extremely creative and speak to the commitment of our churches in spreading the Gospel through media.

“I believe that as we move farther into the 21st century, media will play a vital role in reaching Mississippi and the world for Jesus Christ.”

The Witnessing Through Media awards dinner is part of a comprehensive, two-day conference that includes workshops on Getting Started and Advanced Web Site Design; Creative Production; How Did they Do That?; Directing; Non-Linear Editing; Camera Operation; Other Media; Projection Systems; and Sound Advice Basic and Advanced.

“We strive to continually offer diverse workshops that will assist our churches in enhancing their media ministries. We are fortunate to obtain conference leaders who not only possess the technical expertise, but have a heart for ministry as well,” Richardson said.

The Witnessing Through Media program is supported by gifts to the Mississippi Cooperative Program. For more information, contact Richardson at P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530. Telephone: (601) 292-3378 or toll-free outside Jackson (800) 748-1651, ext. 378. E-mail: irichardson@mbcb.org. Web site: www.mbcb.org.

Award winners at the dinner included:

Church Musicals

  • Division One

    Sing the Wonders
    Colonial Heights Church, Ridgeland

  • Division Two

    Best Gift: Time Interrupted
    Pinelake Church, Brandon

Feature Presentation

  • Division One

    Christmas TV Special
    Bel Aire Church, Gulfport

  • Division Two

    Carols by Candlelight
    First Church, Jackson

Commercial

  • Division One

    Promotion Spot for Worship Service
    Main Street Church, Hattiesburg

  • Division Two

    I Quit! Sermon Series Introduction
    Pinelake Church, Brandon

Promotional

  • Division One

    Noodling for Jesus
    Colonial Heights Church, Ridgeland

  • Division Two

    Living a Legacy
    First Church, Brandon

Music Video

  • Division One

    Nolan Bishop
    Nolan Bishop Ministries
    Magee
    Revival to Our Land
    (The Ballad of Johnny)

  • Division Two

    VBS 2007 Highlights
    First Church, Newton

Worship Service

  • Division One

    Living Life on Purpose
    Broadmoor Church, Madison

  • Division Two

    Pinelake Renewal Service: Night of Praise
    Pinelake Church, Brandon

Radio Program

  • Division One

    Worthy of the Lamb
    Bel Aire Church, Gulfport

Church Musicals

www.broadmoor.org
Broadmoor Church, Madison

Best 1st Time entry

Huntin’ for Friends
Hillcrest Church, New Albany

Most Creative Use of Media

Faithful Giving: Gateway Rescue Mission
Pinelake Church, Brandon

WTM Logo