The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 22, 2010

‘Hero’ on film

Motion picture to depict Reels Corners pastor

CENTRAL CITY — Sam Childers went from drug dealer to minister.

Now, he’s gone Hollywood.

Film studio Lionsgate is making a major motion picture, “Machine Gun Preacher,” of Childers’ life story as related in his 2009 book, “Another Man’s War: The True Story of One Man’s Battle to Save Children in the Sudan.” The film will star the latest “it guy,” Gerard Butler. 

The director is no slouch, either. Marc Forster directed “Monster’s Ball,” which won Halle Berry a best actress Oscar, and the 2008 James Bond film “Quantum of Solace.”

Filming is to begin July 5 in Detroit and South Africa.

Lionsgate said the film will be released in fall 2011.

“ ‘Machine Gun Preacher’ combines a fascinating, action-packed story and unique characters with great talent on both sides of the camera,” Mike Paseornek, Lionsgate president of motion picture production, said in a release.

“Gerard Butler is the ideal actor to capture the strength, complexity and charisma of this film’s real-life hero, Sam Childers.”

Childers renounced his biker tough-guy ways to embark on a spiritual path, fighting and raising money for innocent children and villagers caught up in war-torn Sudan. He is pastor of the Shekinah Fellowship church near Reels Corners.

Rev. Childers was out of state Tuesday and could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a 2009 interview with The Tribune-Democrat, he said, “I have four soldiers that work for me. I travel into conflict areas to find children abandoned in the fighting. We collect those children.”

The former heroin addict founded Angels of East Africa and built an orphanage in the midst of the conflict area.

Butler’s co-stars will include Michelle Monaghan as his wife, Lynn Childers, and Michael Shannon as his best friend, Donnie. Butler is known for his roles in “300” and “Law Abiding Citizen.”

Co-producer Robbie Brenner said, “When I heard about Sam Childers, I thought, ‘Here is a man who is making a difference, defying the odds and not just talking about what he believes but actually doing it.’

“Seldom do you find a story that is gripping and relatable but also is about something bigger. Here was a movie that begged to be made.”

A peek into the movie can be seen by the eclectic mix of extras that moviemakers are seeking for Detroit filming.

According to Michigan Casting Services, “Specific looks include: Bikers, biker chicks, churchgoers, junkies/drug dealers, prostitutes, construction workers, farmers, teenagers and children.

“There is also a need for denture wearers willing to be filmed without teeth and people in motorized carts.”

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads