A feature film about the Smoking for Jesus Ministry and its trek from Louisiana to the Highland Lakes after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will be shown at noon and 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, and 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, at Uptown Theater, 218 Main St. in Marble Falls.
Free tickets for “Mount Up! The Movie” are available at The Real New Orleans Restaurant, 1700 RR 1431 in Marble Falls, and the Smoking for Jesus office, 1804 RR 2342 in Burnet. Donations will be accepted and appreciated.
“This is our journey of how we got here and how we traveled to nine different places and seven different cities,” said director Paige Roberson. “Our pastor, Willie Monnet Sr., wrote an entire book about it. Then, it was a gospel musical stage play. We would travel and put on the play.”
But the COVID-19 pandemic changed how Smoking for Jesus presented its story. Instead of waiting for travel to be safe again, Smoking for Jesus leaders decided to make a movie to tell their story.
“Now, people can come and sit down and watch,” Roberson said. “We took the book and took scenes out of the book and created scenes for our movie.”
Directors are Roberson and Marvin and Demaries Glaspie. The actors are Smoking for Jesus families.
Filming began in May on different parts of the Smoking for Jesus property. Minister Johnnel Mosley built a dorm-style set, which plays a significant role in the movie. The film is about 70 minutes long.
Roberson summed up the feelings of many of the people involved in the movie.
“In the blink of an eye, my life changed forever,” she said. “When we started traveling, I had three days’ worth of clothes. We never gave up. Our faith in God — we knew that would see us through all of it.”
And they pray moviegoers will be uplifted by their story.
“There are hard things you go through, but don’t give up on God or Jesus,” Roberson said. “We’re still weathering storms, and they’ll see you through. Keep pushing through and don’t give up. There are hills and valleys, and there are blessings on the other side.”