“Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul.” May Parallel This Real-Life Megachurch Scandal

The story of the Pastor Lee-Curits Childs and his wife Lady Trinitie, leaders of their congregation, unfolds in the film Soul. Directed and written by Ebo’s Adamma, this feature-length adaptation is a 2018 short film with the same name. It explores the fallout and scandal that dismantles their status amidst the turmoil. Save Jesus. For Honk.

Read about the inspiration behind the film “Soul Your Save Jesus: For Honk” and learn on Sept. 2 on Peacock and in theaters. However, it is actually inspired by real life. While the film may not be based on a true story, it could easily be centered around real people, as it sounds.

Throughout their journey, which includes various challenges, the couple employs a documentary-style approach to chronicle their path to reviving the church. However, their efforts are hindered when a scandal involving sexual misconduct causes them to lose their position of authority, disperse their followers, and temporarily shut down the church. Previously, Pastor Lee-Curtis led a congregation of more than 10,000 individuals, both in person and through media, alongside his wife Trinitie Childs, who are now regarded as the disgraced leaders of a Southern Baptist megachurch.

As reported by Rolling Stone, the siblings regularly attended religious gatherings twice a week and were strongly cautioned against engaging in any activities that seemed to be associated with sorcery or wickedness, such as Halloween and the novels of Harry Potter. Adamma and Adanne Ebo, a pair of filmmakers who are also sisters, drew inspiration from their personal encounters within the church and their upbringing in Atlanta to craft the narrative.

Adamma stated to the magazine that on the surface, accepting things as they are and not questioning them, we spend our whole lives fulfilling the desires of others, hoping that they will be acknowledged, possibly in the manner we desire. “The Black church avoids discussing this… No one discusses this.”

In an interview with Adamma Studio from Sundance, I elaborated on the questioning and critical thinking that started when I was young, quickly becoming disillusioned with the church.

There are countless cases involving scandals and controversies surrounding pastors of Megachurches, whether it be in the area of sexual misconduct, fraud, or other misdeeds. One such case that strongly parallels the character of Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs is in Atlanta, where he is based in Long Eddie’s pastor-based ministry.

Long, the disgraced pastor from New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, was accused of misusing church donations and settling individual cases against him in a lavish lifestyle. No criminal charges were ever brought against him, but he was accused of alleged abuse when he was 17 and says one of the young men who were members of the church’s elite youth program were over the age of 18.

“Save Jesus: For Honk” is a dark comedy film with refreshing elements, featuring stellar performances and punchy lines, intertwined with an important message. You can catch it on Peacock and in theaters starting on September 2nd.