Sherwood Church said today on social media that longstanding pastor Michael Catt, who oversaw the creation of Sherwood Pictures, had passed away following a battle with prostate cancer. “We will always be indebted to Pastor Catt for his unwavering commitment to preaching biblical truth and the undeniable ways he moulded us as a church body.
Please join us in praying for the Catt family and everyone who knew Michael as a pastor and friend. According to the former pastor’s family, his health had recently worsened. From 1989 to 2021, Catt served as senior pastor at Sherwood. After that, he retired and moved to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
The church expanded throughout that time, becoming a multigenerational, multiethnic community with members from more than 20 countries. The church entered the film industry shortly after hiring brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick to work at Sherwood as associate media and preaching and prayer pastors, respectively.
The 2003 film “Flywheel” marked the founding of Sherwood Pictures. Future films “Facing the Giants” (2006), “Fireproof” (2008), and “Courageous” (2011) also featured Catt as executive producer. The movie “Woodlawn,” directed by another two brothers named Andrew and Jon Erwin, would also have him as executive producer.
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When he was 38 and in his second year at Sherwood, Catt learned he had been adopted. The layers of his narrative were revealed through a series of fortuitous encounters, and he even realised that his birth mother saw Fireproof without knowing her granddaughter was a star of the movie.
Catt was a prolific author and well-known speaker at several conferences, including those at The Billy Graham Training Centre at The Cove and supervising other media ventures. He served as president of the 2008 SBC Pastors’ Conference, vice president of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and a former trustee of the International Mission Board.
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In a 2002 Oval Office meeting with President George W. Bush, Catt spoke on behalf of Southern Baptists. SBC President Bart Barber posted on Twitter, “So thankful for the life and ministry of Michael Catt, whose ministry reached throughout the Southern Baptist Convention and far beyond.” He handled his sickness with trust and assurance, bringing every line in Fireproof to life.
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