Many have seen and heard the miracle story of God’s transformation that North Greenville University has experienced over the past twenty years, but beginning March 20, the world will have that opportunity to see it. A documentary short-film, Risen from the Ashes, will be broadcast worldwide. This documentary tells “the story of the NGU miracle” by those who bore witness to it.
In America's increasingly secular culture, there seems to be a lack of faith and a loss of assurance of the power and presence of God among the people. Risen from the Ashes is a documentary of the true story of a man with firm faith in God and what that faith can accomplish. It is a film that shows how a servant of God brought about the turnaround of the once-struggling institution and how God has transformed it into the flourishing school it is today.
The short-film’s co-creator, Julie Styles, is a 1990 alumna and the concept production coordinator. Styles attended the school during the lowest point in its enrollment.
“For over 20 years I have been sharing my love for North Greenville University to everyone I meet. Having been a student here in the late 1980s, working in admissions in the early 1990s, coming back to NGU as a student from 2007 to 2009, and also serving on the school’s board of trustees has allowed me a real unique perspective,” said Styles. “I have strived to effectively communicate how North Greenville University went from being an almost dying entity to a vibrant, healthy, and reputable institution. The documentary became my contribution to this great institution. My hopes and prayers are that this short powerful documentary will tell the story of how when we rely totally on the power of God and walk in faith, God can and will do extraordinary things.”
In the early 1990s, the South Carolina Baptist Convention was about to close what was then known as North Greenville College. The school was millions in debt with only 329 students. The school’s board of trustees named Dr. Jimmy Epting the school’s seventh president in 1991. According to Styles, when Dr. Epting came on as president, he made the focus about Christ and took the university, with God’s help, to the flourishing institution it is today.
Those interviewed in the documentary are eyewitnesses to the extraordinary events and those personally involved in helping the institution survive. The phrase Risen from the Ashes surfaced several times throughout the interviews, therefore becoming the title of the film.
A Red-Carpet Hollywood-style premiere event will be held on the NGU campus Thursday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. The film will be premiered to all those featured in the documentary, alumni, donors, friends, students, and the general public. Admission is free.
“We wanted to find a way to celebrate what God has done for North Greenville and chose the Red Carpet Premiere event as a way to deliver God’s story of North Greenville. We figured that the world uses Red Carpet events to promote secular Hollywood events, why not use the Red Carpet style event to bring glory to a Godly event,” said Shur Gopal, Risen from the Ashes producer. “We also thought it would be a fun event where we could just take a moment and celebrate!”
The documentary will also be shown on local television outlets the weekend of March 21-23. The broadcast schedule is as follows: 7:00 p.m. on WYCW, a WSPA affiliate, on Saturday, March 22; 7:00 p.m. on WLOS on Saturday, March 22; 9:00 a.m. on WHNS-Fox Carolina on Sunday, March 23; and 11:00 a.m. on WYFF Sunday, March 23.
In addition, the NRB Network will be broadcasting it at 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 3 as well as on Friday, April 4 at 1:30 a.m.