Is God in Hollywood? Read this wonderful testimony by SCH Contributor Karen Covell as she shares how God is showing up big in Hollywood.
In 1980, as a relatively new Christian I graduated from USC and I launched into the secular Hollywood Entertainment Industry, along with my husband-to-be, a composer whom I met at USC who was starting his own music company. Together we faced the big bad world of the Hollywood entertainment industry.
It was harder than we thought. Jim and I were quickly in need of a prayer group and so sought out other Christians to pray with. We found six other young professionals with the same need and in 1983 the eight of us began praying together. We called our prayer group WDP, (Writers, Directors & Producers) and we met monthly to pray for our careers and to intercede for the industry, huddling together in the world’s most influential mission field. We knew of only two other small Bible studies that were meeting in town since about 1980: Media Fellowship, led by a pastor out of Seattle, and a weekly industry home Bible study led by an award winning Jewish believer and lyricist in Beverly Hills.
Our little WDP group started meeting other Christian professionals who were slowly coming out of the closet. Some even started saying that they believed Hollywood was their mission field – the same idea that Jim and I had. It became clear that something spiritual was changing in our industry. Within 10 years we knew of nine entertainment ministries that had popped up in Hollywood, including two that were birthed out of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood (FPCH).
In the 1990s Christians started showing up in production companies, on studio lots and even in the literary and talent agencies. About 1995 a weekly prayer walk started on the Paramount Studio lot. Because of the vision of two Paramount employees, today there are studio prayer walks on all of the major studio lots: Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Sony, Warner Bros., Disney and CBS. Also in the 1990s, as the community of Christians grew, other ministries launched: Two more out of FPCH, along with a Film Project, Bible studies, prayer groups, professional training and church fellowships.
In 2001, I launched the Hollywood Prayer Network, as the 5th Entertainment ministry to come out of FPCH, mobilizing Christians outside Hollywood to pray for industry professionals. Within the past 15 years, 10 more ministries have been launched all over the city and are currently active and vital. There are also private gatherings, invitation-only Bible Studies, prayer groups and church services across the city, that are not publicized, in order to give privacy to more visible members of our community.
In 2015, 35 years since I got my first job in Hollywood, our Christian community of quality entertainment industry professionals has grown to over 10,000 strong! There are currently 22 active ministries. http://hollywoodprayernetwork.org/resources/entertainment-ministries/, and there are 10 known private weekly gatherings of Christians as well. There are also over 50 solid Christian churches all over LA, meeting weekly with Biblical teaching, mid-week community groups, awesome worship music and prayer – all brimming with young entertainment professionals – a culture of creative millennials: http://hollywoodprayernetwork.org/resources/media-friendly-churches/
God is alive and active in Hollywood. Join us in praying for the people in entertainment – for those who know Him to have more strength, courage, influence and direction, and for those who don’t yet know Him, to find Him through their friends and coworkers, or through personal miraculous encounters with Jesus. The day of the Hollywood boycotts is over and the day of the Lord is here, in Hollywood, through us, His people, as we stand firm in our faith and serve, pray for and love others around us along the way!
To learn more about author Karen Covell please visit Hollywood Prayer Network
Featured Image The Passion of the Christ; Photo Courtesy of Newmarket Films