At a special Colloquy program Thursday morning at Pacific Union College, Hollywood movie executive DeVon Franklin opened with a bold statement. “God has sent me here to deliver you a message,” he said. “Someone here has a calling—something God wants you to do—but fear is holding you back from following that dream. I’m here to free you from that fear.”
Franklin is vice president of production at Columbia Pictures, and has been involved in the production of films including The Pursuit of Happyness and the recent remake of The Karate Kid. He’s also a Seventh-day Adventist, and has recently written Produced by Faith, a book about maintaining a relationship with God while working in the entertainment industry.
Franklin described how movies like The Color Purple, Rocky, and Back To The Future captivated him as a boy. He remembered wanting to make those images, but when he shared his dream with others in the Adventist community, he was often met with skepticism. This did not stop him from having faith that God would take him where He wanted him to be, he said.
Franklin advised students to actively seek and pursue their God-given purpose in this world. “So many times we begin to curtail what God has called us to do because someone told us, ‘Oh, you can’t,’” he said. He recalled times when he became depressed because he did not know why God had created him. He urged the students to listen to the voice of God in their lives. “You are a light, and you must allow your light to shine,” he said.
After speaking at the morning Colloquy service, Franklin met with a smaller group of students for a question and answer session, where he discussed faith, film production, and charting a successful career path. He encouraged students to be willing to stand up for their beliefs on the job. “You have no idea who you’re inspiring by your walk, and who you’re touching by being who God made you to be,” he said.
Learn more about DeVon Franklin and his book, Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success Without Losing Your True Self, at www.producedbyfaith.com.
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