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Fireman, wife changed by ‘Fireproof’ meet actor at FBC Cullman eventcomment (0)

September 24, 2009

By Grace Thornton

Movie tickets can change your life — Darrell and Lisa Harrington would be quick to tell you that.

Their lives were in a fragile state when Lisa began seeing commercials on TV for the movie “Fireproof,” in which a firefighter finds Christ and seeks to rebuild his marriage.

But “we don’t get to go to the movies much with five kids,” she said.

So when Darrell came home with a pair of movie tickets — given to all of Cullman’s firefighters and their spouses by First Baptist Church, Cullman — Lisa knew going to this particular movie was something they needed to do.

And when “Fireproof” ended, “there wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” including hers and her husband’s.

“A lot of the stuff in the movie made an impact on me,” Darrell said.

And then things began to change.

“On the way home, the movie opened up the chance for us to talk about the things in the movie that had touched us,” Lisa said.

She and Darrell discussed their marriage, their family, their spiritual lives and their church attendance.

“We discussed what kind of priority it (church) needed to be in our lives and planned to start going with our children,” Lisa said.

The family plugged into Concord Baptist Church, Fairview, in East Cullman Baptist Association and has been going faithfully ever since.

On Sept. 13, the Harringtons got to visit the church that gave them those movie tickets as well as meet the actor whose story in “Fireproof” made such an impact on their lives.

First, Cullman, a member of West Cullman Baptist Association, invited the family to be its special guest for an open house for its two new buildings. Kirk Cameron, who played the lead role of firefighter Caleb Holt in the movie, was the guest speaker for the event.

“We didn’t learn about them coming to Christ until six months after the movie,” said Edwin Hayes, pastor of First, Cullman, who added that Ed Heptinstall, pastor of Concord Baptist and a former member of First, Cullman, told him about the family being baptized into the church.

And First, Cullman, rejoiced.

“Our church is always looking for a creative way to reach out to our community. We thought this would be a neat way to say thank you to the firefighters,” Hayes said, noting the hope was that some of them would come to Christ.

The Harringtons were an answer to prayers, he said. “That movie got them started on their journey to Christ.”

The family’s story was featured in a video shown during the open house. The Harringtons also spent some time before the service talking with Cameron, who delivered a straightforward message about the importance of Christ being the center of life and marriage.

“It was a wonderful moment. Everything kind of came full circle,” Hayes said.

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