Troy Duhon is one of the most interesting people I know. The son of a Pentecostal preacher, he has become extraordinarily successful in the car business, with 21 automobile dealerships across the United States.
Recently, he invited me the International Christian Film Festival, which had over 5,000 people in attendance in Orlando, Florida. I was invited to be one of the presenters for the award for Best Screenplay. I was also asked to have an autograph signing. It was fun to hang out all day with a different crowd than I am normally around. And I enjoyed the time with Troy, who, while we were talking, gave me several excellent story ideas.
I have interviewed and written about Troy before. He is the one who put up the money for the first God's Not Dead movie, which was one of the most successful independent movies of all time. Troy says when the film hit the box office in 2014, it grossed $60,000,000, but DVD sales and streaming brought that number to more than $100,000,000.
Later, he was behind God's Not Dead 2, and even invited me to watch some of the movie being made in Arkansas a couple of years ago. The film confronts the hypocrisy in many public schools, where teachers are free to teach on Muhammad, Buddha and other religious figures, but often aren't allowed to teach about Jesus Christ as a historical figure.
Now, he has come out with God's Not Dead 3, also called A Light in the Darkness. I recently viewed it, and if you haven't seen it, you really should. To me, it was the best movie of the three. The plot and acting were even better than the first two. It deals with some of the issues regarding the role of government regulating the church, the opposition to organized religion on most university campuses and how Christians should respond to ethical and moral dilemmas that face them. There is quite a surprise ending.
With the entire God's Not Dead brand, Troy says he and his team are trying to reach Millennials, whom he calls the almost-forgotten generation in church. He's concerned that fewer Millennials are pursuing the Lord and attending church.
Research done by Rice Broocks—author of the God's Not Dead book that inspired the film—seems to confirm Troy's fears. Rice has done research through his ministries on 700 college campuses and has found that 64 percent of all kids raised in a Christian home end up going to a liberal college and walking away from their faith. I've known Rice since the 1980s and have seen his passion to reach youth for Christ.
Troy believes the fact that the films were so successful shows just how hungry college kids are to know why they can believe God exists. He hopes the films help give Millennials a reason to get involved in church again, which I think is a truly noble goal.
Recently I interviewed Troy on my podcast, "The Strang Report," where he offered some compelling insights. I encourage you to listen to the interview below.
Steve Strang is the founder of Charisma Media and president of Christian Life Missions. He is also the author of the best-seller God and Donald Trump. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to subscribe to the Strang Report podcast, and here to sign up for the Strang Report newsletter.
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