10 Fun and Interesting Christian Entertainment Facts
Christian movies, books, music and festivals make up the growing industry of Christian entertainment. Some people view entertainment as a distraction, but many songs and movies have brought people to Christ, not to mention the many authors who have an increasing audience in Christian genres. Here are 10 fun and interesting Christian entertainment facts.
10 Interesting and Fun Facts
Before becoming well known from the movie God’s Not Dead, David A.R. White (played Reverend Dave) starred in 38 films, most in the Christian genre. At 22 David appeared in the hit show Coach starring Craig T. Nelson.
The first Christian film ever was From the Manger to the Cross, which was released on October 3, 1912. There were a record number of 25 Christian movies in 2009. By the end of this year there will be over 15 films released and the quality in the storyline and film has started attracting more mainstream audiences.
Faith Festival was the first Christian music festival in the United States in 1970, which was held in Evansville, Indiana. CBS covered the event the following year and 15,000 people were in attendance. The Christian Festival Association was formed in 2006 and there are currently 21 member festivals. The Alive Festival celebrated the 20th anniversary in 2007. The AgapeFest has been student-run since it started in 1977 and is one of the longest running Christian festivals. The Atlanta Fest started 28 years ago and the Kingdom Bound festival celebrated 25 years in 2011.
The number of Christian fiction ebooks on Amazon.com alone exceed 30,000 and more are released each day. C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien and G. K. Chesterton were pioneer authors in the Christian fiction genre. C.S. Lewis wrote 74 books that were published. Madeleine L’Engle wrote 55 books that were published. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote over 90 books that were published, including The Lord of the Rings series. G. K. Chesterton wrote over 150 published books.
Christian Book Awards are presented to different authors each year by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association to acknowledge quality and encouraging books. They have been recognizing Christian authors since 1978.
You may be used to worship music in your Sunday service, but churches didn’t have worship bands until the Jesus Movement that swept the United States in the 1960s. Many churches that play worship songs today project lyrics on a screen and include bands with multiple singers and instruments.
Christian artists have been performing notably since the 1960’s but the Billboard Charts didn’t recognize the genre until after 1995. Today, there are four notable Christian genres, including gospel music, southern gospel, contemporary Christian music and alternative Christian music.
There are 26 Christian film production companies in existence. Believe Pictures, founded by Brian Bird and Michael Landon, Jr., has produced many films, including six films in the Love Comes Softly Series for the Hallmark Channel. Big Idea Entertainment, LLC has produced the movies in the VeggieTales series. Cloud Ten Pictures has produced 14 films and 11 documentaries. Pure Flix Entertainment has produced 24 films, including God’s Not Dead. Sherwood Films has produced four of the most well-known films, including Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof and Courageous.
Actor Alex Kendrick has starred in many of the films he has written and produced. This includes Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants and Flywheel. He has also acted in Moms’ Night Out and The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone.
The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson has been the biggest grossing Christian film. It was released in February 2004 and starred Jim Caviezel as Jesus, Maia Morgenstren as Mary, Christo Jivkov as John and Francesco De Vito as Peter and 70 other actors and actresses.
Michael W. Smith has been writing, singing and performing Christian music since 1981. He has sold over 15 million records, won 40 Dove Awards, produced 15 gold albums and recorded 29 songs that hit number one on Christian charts. Did you know that Michael has also published 12 books?
When you start looking at the main Christian areas of entertainment – music, books and movies – and compare them to contemporary or secular genres, you’ll quickly realize there is so much more to come in all of these areas. Many secular companies are now working on projects to capture Christian audiences. Actors and actresses who want to work strictly on Christian projects now see doors opening. New singers and songwriters see potential for reaching a Christian audience. What is your favorite Christian movie, book or song?