Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Meet Lester Sumrall, Filmmaker and Minister

Lester Sumrall is a third generation minister and visionary. For almost 20 years, he has shared a message of destiny, purpose, and hope in 38 countries of the world. In the early 1990s, Lester gave up a college basketball scholarship, a journey which took him to Scandinavia where he attended Word of Life Theological School in Uppsala, Sweden. Upon graduation, Lester travelled alongside his grandfather, Dr. Lester Sumrall, doing ministry and relief work around the world. In 1997, he founded Lester Sumrall International, and has since continued in the legacy passed to him to serve humanity through relief work and hope-filled media projects. Lester Sumrall is currently based near Chicago where he lives with his wife and children.

Lester is currently working to finish Fearless Faith, a film about his grandfather. Having traveled all over the world with his grandfather and again after his grandfather's death, Lester has gathered all the necessary footage to create a film which gives a comprehensive perspective on his grandfather's work and the many people his grandfather inspired. In order to complete the film, Lester needs to raise funds to pay for professional editing and marketing and has set up a campaign on Indiegogo with a $25,000 goal (which amounts to one-fourth of the funding needed for this last phase of film production.

As February 2013 marks the 100th birthday of the late Dr. Sumrall, the theme of the fundraising campaign for Fearless Faith is Give 100,: 100 minutes of prayer and/or 100 pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars or more. Learn more on the Facebook page for Fearless Faith.

1. For those readers who might not recognize the name, Dr. Lester Sumrall, could you tell us briefly who your grandfather was?

My grandfather was a family man; being his namesake, we shared a very close relationship. He was a sincere man of faith. As a young man he was supernaturally healed of tuberculosis by faith in Jesus. This divine experience led to him becoming a true believer. He traveled the world on the verge of WWII. He also dabbled in journalism as he reported on his travels, basically an antique blog. Later in life he was a local pastor to some, and he pioneered in media by founding a broadcasting network that at one time was the 10th largest shortwave radio network in the world, eight full power television stations, and two local fm stations. Near the end of his life, he founded a global feeding network that shared relief and hope with hundreds of thousands of people. All in all I was really inspired by his faith-filled mission and obedience to his higher calling.

2. How many years have you spent and how many countries have you visited shooting footage of your grandfather and people around the world who have been influenced by his work?

I worked with my grandfather 17 years ago on the idea for this project, but almost three years ago in 2010 I started the Fearless Faith Project. Since then I've visited Asia multiple times to retrace his steps in the Philippines and Hong Kong. I also retraced his steps in Israel. Footage from interviews in China, Russia, and Sweden will also be included in the project.

3. On the 100th anniversary of your late grandfather's birth, why do you feel it's especially important now to share his legacy with others through the medium of film?

My grandfather's life and legacy of faith is important to me for a variety of reasons. Why share his story? Because I believe that others will find it inspiring on their life journey. My desire is to inspire many to find and fulfill their God-given purpose.

4. How much time and funding do you anticipate it will take to complete the editing of Fearless Faith--and then to market the film?

We anticipate it will take about six months and $100,000 to finish editing and start the distribution of this film. We have requests to bring it to Sweden, Russia, China, Brazil, Canada, and all over America.

5. It seems like crowdsourcing is a good fit for your project, given your grandfather's connections with so many people. In addition to visiting your Indiegogo site, how do you hope that people will help you in finishing this film and in continuing your grandfather's work in the world?

Yes, crowdfunding is a great fit for this project. If everyone does something, it helps. Crowdfunding is a great alternative for us because my grandfather had ministered in 119 countries and had authored many books over the years, so he became well-known in certain circles. We are hoping to finish this project by everyone who appreciated his life and ministry to give 100 whatever (pennies, dollars, etc) to celebrate his 100th and to share the campaign with 100 friends. Through this project I believe that we can share a life story that will inspire people all around the world.

Thanks, Lester!

No comments:

Post a Comment