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Christian movie showing to draw Jessica Lynch, Erik Estrada

– It’s been called empowering and inspiring; a way to get women to live with convictions of faith, beauty, family and integrity.

And along with its messages of fortitude, Sebring will also host some of the stars of the show.

At 6:30 p.m., Aug. 22, at Faith Lutheran Church, a screening of the movie “Virtuous” will be held as part of the church’s “Virtuous Women’s Conference,” which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church Aug. 23.

Scheduled to be on hand to answer questions at the movie showing at the church, 2740 Lakeview Drive, will be actor Erik Estrada, best known as “Ponch” on the TV show “CHiPs,” based on the California Highway Patrol.

At the conference, Jessica Lynch is scheduled to appear. Lynch is a former Quartermaster Corps Private First Class in the United States Army and a prisoner of war of the Iraqi military in the 2003. She was rescued by U.S. forces on April 1, 2003; it was the first successful rescue of an American POW since World War II and the first ever of a woman.

Produced by Morgantown, West Virginia-based JCFilms, “Virtuous” is based on biblical Proverbs 31 and is the story of a Hollywood starlet, a soldier on the battlefield, a successful businesswoman, and the housekeeping and cooking skills of an old mom. It involves 10 women who eventually meet and attempts to show what it means to be a “virtuous” woman in today’s society.

Lynch said in an email she got involved when Estrada and Jason Campbell, president of JCFilms, visited a church near her home in West Virginia with one of their films.

“They told me about their next film Virtuous. After hearing the story about the movie, I wanted to be involved,” she wrote. “The film is incredible and I hope to see as many people as possible attend this free screening.”

The story basically revolves around a small town in Georgia where a tragedy happens and how all of the different women’s roles interact with the tragedy, according to the “Virtuous” website.

Traci Roberts, Faith Lutheran secretary and movie and conference coordinator, said “Virtuous” is the third motivational movie the church has screened for the public, the first two were geared towards teenagers.

In December, “Finding Faith,” a movie about sex trafficking, was shown to about 70 people, and in March, “Uncommon” -- a film about Christian rights in schools -- was viewed by about an audience of about 140.

Roberts said the content of the movies are geared toward giving audiences hope for their future while providing entertaining, well-made stories and plot lines.

“Hopefully, it gives them (viewers) hope and makes them see there are better quality movies out there than what’s just in the theaters, with better messages,” she said.

Roberts said the Virtuous Women’s Conference is designed to help women determine what a “virtuous woman” is in today’s culture and being righteous in her convictions and lifestyle while being gutsy enough to stand up and defend those convictions.

Through the lives of the 10 women, the movie is geared to females of all ages and backgrounds, said Roberts, and addresses issues facing women of today: violent crime, rape, high divorce rates and single motherhood. The conference will also introduce the “Potter’s House for Women,” a Rock Springs, Georgia-based Christian home for troubled women.

Campbell said the Sebring movie screening-conference is one of about 100 that will take place since its premiere May 9 in Milner, Ga., and its Nov. 14 end in Fort Worth, Texas.

He said “Virtuous” is one of the biggest films ever produced involving Christian, female talent and the conference would have some of them on-hand to speak.

Those scheduled to address the conference include Lynch; Brandy Allison, a Top-10 contemporary Christian recording artist who plays Simone Burner in “Virtuous”; Angelita Nelson, who played Carmen Martinez in the film “Courageous”; and Pam Jenkins, a Bible teacher, author and president of Jabbok Ministries, who plays the film’s Bible teacher.

“They’ll get to see a true American hero in the first film she’s involved in. I hope they get something from the film and the conference. The response has been extremely good. Based on the number of churches that want us to show our movies, it shows the popularity of this kind of ministry,” said Campbell, who founded JCFilms in 2012.

Church member and Sebring resident Donna Lobbestael has attended previous movie showings and said the movies are inspirational to parents and their children. She said there are messages everyone can use, regardless of age.

“These are encouraging movies for everyone to see. They help show Christ is in the world and he’s there for you,” she said,

For information, call (863) 385-7848 or (863) 414-3260.


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