Would you stand up for your faith in Jesus even if it cost you your life? The new movie I’M NOT ASHAMED tells the true story of 17-year-old Rachel Joy Scott, the first student killed in the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. Based on her personal diary, this film depicts Rachel’s extraordinary courage, strength, and unwavering faith in the midst of tragedy.
In her final moments at Columbine, after being shot repeatedly by classmates Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Rachel refused to deny her Lord and Savior. Her attackers asked Rachel if she still believed in God, to which she replied, “You know I do.” They then administered the fatal shot to her head as a result of her profession of faith.
In this new film from PureFlix Entertainment, newcomer Masey McLain stars as Rachel Joy Scott, along with co-stars Ben Davies (Courageous and New Hope) as Nathan, and Terri Minton (Saved By Grace) as Rachel’s mother Beth Nimmo. Stars of Duck Dynasty, Sadie Robertson and Korie Robertson have supporting roles as well as Dove Award winner Jaci Velasquez who portrays Rachel’s teacher, Mrs. Diaz.
Sonoma Christian Home had the distinct privilege to interview Rachel Joy Scott’s mother, Beth Nimmo, who is also a powerful role model.
Rachel’s parents, Darrell Scott and Beth Nimmo, wrote Rachel’s Tears, which is a non-fiction book that focuses on their daughter, her faith, her inspirational journal, as well as on how she has impacted others. They also have published two further books: Rachel Smiles: The Spiritual Legacy of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott and The Journals of Rachel Joy Scott: A Journey of Faith at Columbine High. SCH Editor At Large Dr. Diane Howard reports.
SCH: How has the Lord prepared you and how He has been with you throughout this experience?
BN: My father was a pastor. My parents were my role models. My sister drowned when she was twelve. Then my older brother later drowned. I watched my parents grieve with broken hearts but they never were bitter. They went through the loss with grace, dignity, and without angry words. I married Darrell, a pastor at 18 years of age.
After 20 years, we went our separate ways. I had to care for five children alone before I remarried. I was displaced with no financial support, job, and no place to live place. I went to what I had seen in my parents and went to God as my provider. I would pray each day with the kids for the things we needed. God became my husband, providing all we needed. God took care of us.
The kids grew up with seeing how God answered prayers and provided. When Columbine happened, I went where I always did. The grief was so intense and raw that I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. Through Rachel’s special journal I began to see how God was using her as a witness out of the darkness. God challenged me to be a keeper of the flame. God has continued to bring good out of this evil event.
SCH: What can you share with readers to help them through perilous times?
BN: God has always been there and has always provided. Rachel said, ‘…create in me the church, so wherever I go there will be sanctuary…there is no safe place outside of the presence of God.’ I believe God’s presence was with Rachel and that she went immediately into the presence of the Lord. When she was first shot, I believe she cried in pain, but God was with her and took her to Himself. I have learned that God is our husband, our provider. I have also learned that I had to be fully committed to Him to be and do all that He asked of me. Because I had limited education and training, when I was no longer married, I had to do whatever work came my way and God miraculously provided the rest.
SCH: What would you say to others who want to help those in grief?
BN: When someone is in grief, you can’t fix it for them and it isn’t expected. Christian clichés can be painful. Just be willing to touch the pain. Be there for them.
SCH: We want to honor your daughter and the other victims by supporting this movie. Why else should we see this movie?
BN: This movie is not sanitized. It connects with people where they are. It engages and motivates viewers to engage the issues presented in the movie. It encourages viewers to fight these issues smart and strong. It helps parents to see that they must be engaged and that if they are not, their kids may be casualties.
SCH: What do you hope will be the result of the release of this movie?
BN: When we have shared Rachel’s story in schools and meetings, we have seen that it gives empowerment. We change this dynamic. Audiences get a fire in their bellies to make a change to reverse the current course. We hope it will raise up an army of warriors for Christ.
SCH: How has Rachel’s story affected high school students?
BN: When we speak, we have Rachel’s cross from her grave with us. We give the kids permission to change. After each assembly the cross is covered with tokens of the choice to change from students such as suicide notes and notes of commitment to no longer cut themselves. After each assembly, we clear away the tokens so that the cross can be covered again at the next assembly. I have boxes of letters left at her cross. We tell the kids to go home and tell their parents that they love them.
The Columbine tragedy in April 1999 tore the hearts of people throughout the world. It is horrifying that two teenage killers specifically targeted Rachel Scott and mocked her Christian faith. After Rachel Scott died for her faith, her parents have talked about her life and how they have found meaning in their daughter’s martyrdom.
They have sought to celebrate their beautiful daughter’s life and to work through personal grief and the questions of a nation, and to comfort those who have been hurt by violence. Rachel’s parents use excerpts and drawings from Rachel’s own journals to give a spiritual perspective on the Columbine tragedy and to provide a vision of hope for preventing youth violence across the nation.
Rachel Joy Scott is a role model and so is her mother. There is a measurable effect when others identify with a role model. Powerful and life-changing good has come from Rachel’s story.
I’m Not Ashamed is available on digital download and will be available for purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 24th.
For more information, or to find the theater nearest you, visit I’m Not Ashamed Film.
Check out the Sonoma Christian Home interview with Sadie Robertson, who plays the role of Charity in I’m Not Ashamed. She gives powerful, redemptive, hopeful answers to questions about persecution of Christians.
To learn more about the author, we invite you to visit her website.