Pastor, Sherwood Baptist Church since 1989
Recipient of several awards, including: The Martin Luther King Award in 1999 and the Martin Luther King Unity Award in 2003 for his work in building bridges and seeking racial reconciliation in the community
Married to Terri, two children, Erin and Hayley
Graduate of Mississippi College
Attended New Orleans Seminary
Holds Masters of Divinity from Luther Rice Bible Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry from Trinity Theological Seminary
In student and youth ministry for 15-years, had the fourth largest youth group in America
Michael Catt: 'Facing the Giants' of Hollywood
The 700 Club
RATED “PG” FOR USE OF JESUS?
Michael Catt is the pastor of the 3,000 member Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. He is also Executive Producer of the football movie, Facing the Giants.
Facing the Giants is about a high school football coach who draws up a new game plan after running a losing team for six years. The coach dares to trust God to do the impossible, and through Him, he and his team discover how faith plays out on the field and off. Together they learn, with God all things are possible.
On September 29, Facing the Giants opens in 400 theaters in 86 markets nationwide.
This family-friendly movie has stirred up some controversy and received attention from both religious and secular media. Although the movie doesn’t contain sex, violence or profanity, the family-friendly movie has received a PG rating rather than a G rating. Why the warning flag? The makers of the movie say it is rated PG because of its “explicit religious content;” however, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) cites discussion of infertility and depression for the PG rating.
The spokesperson for Provident, the film company releasing this movie, told Scripps Howard News Service that the MPAA used the word "proselytizing" in its explanation for giving the film a PG rating. The red flag PG rating acts as a warning to parents that the movie advocates a particular religion, in this case Christianity, and that parents might want to beware.
Michael Catt says that 135,000 people, not associated with his church, have contacted the MPAA, demanding an explanation. United States Majority Whip Roy Blunt also stepped in, pointing out that—according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health—the MPAA’s standards for onscreen sex and violence have dramatically weakened in the last decade, “This incident raises the disquieting possibility that MPAA considers exposure to Christian themes more dangerous for children than exposure to gratuitous sex and mindless violence," Blunt wrote.
The MPAA denied that religion had anything to do with the PG rating, but Provident Film's Nancy Lovell insists that it was the MPAA that changed its position, not Provident. "The first communication from the MPAA was that religion was a factor in the rating. Since then, the MPAA has revised those factors to no longer include religion," she told Daily Variety.
Michael Catt says they didn’t appeal the PG rating because by doing so they may have had to make changes to the movie and they were not willing to change the content. Instead, he takes the PG rating as a blessing in disguise. He says that anything that puts God in the conversation in secular culture is a blessing. It can’t be bad to get people talking about God.
ASK FOR THE “HIM-POSSIBLE”
The buzz surrounding this movie has led many communities to ask for its release in their area. A booster club program, described on the movie Web site, allows organizations that buy 1,000 tickets by September 8 to see the movie at a theater near them. In addition to small communities, in some larger metropolitan areas organizations are also pre-buying tickets. For instance, in Atlanta, one pastor has bought out all show times at a movie theater on opening weekend and is planning to give away half of the tickets to lost and unsaved people throughout the community. He has also worked out an agreement to use the time between showings to minister to those who have just watched the movie.
Catt says five years ago he was wondering how he could change the world from Albany, GA. When the media director from his church expressed the desire to make Christian movies, Catt saw God opening the door. He and his church prayed through the entire process producing Facing the Giants, and God is accomplishing big things through them. The church already has plans in the works for future projects. What started as a desire in Catt’s heart to make a difference from Albany, Georgia has turned into a major ministry for Sherwood Baptist Church. Catt says each paster and church should seek God for His will for them, and to not to pray for the impossible, instead pray for the “Him-possible.”
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.