Harrison County

New movie out this weekend was produced by a Gulfport native

At 25, Gulfport native Cameron Lewis became a doctor. Today, he is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who is using his professional success to help minister to people whose need for healing in a more spiritual direction.

Lewis is executive producer of the film “A Question of Faith,” which opened on 661 screens on Sept. 29, including on the Coast. It stars Richard T. Jones, C. Thomas Howell, T.C. Stallings, Jaci Velasquez and Renee O’Connor with Gregalan Williams and Kim Fields. The film’s team, which also includes producers Lisa Diane Washington and Angela White, writer Ty Mannis and director Kevan Otto, has been zipping across the country on a 40-city tour, promoting the story of how a tragedy affects three unconnected families and how that convergence could also resurrect their beliefs.

On Friday, Lewis, along with parents Carolyn and Alfred Lewis, was at a reception at Courtyard Marriott in D’Iberville, across from The Grand 18 theater, where the Dove-approved film was showing.

“Everybody’s at their home location today,” he said. “And this is my home location.”

Lewis grew up in Gulfport and graduated in 1999 from Harrison Central High School. The summer right after high school, he worked in the distribution department of the Sun Herald.

“I was on the graveyard shift, late at night,” he said. “The Sun Herald helped put me through college.”

He was a biology and pre-med student at Xavier University in New Orleans and graduated in 2007 from Howard University College of Dentistry. He is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon graduate of New York Medical College.

“I found God when I was 14 years old, in 1995,” he said. “I knew I wanted to be a doctor.”

He also wanted to find a way to heal hurting people outside of medicine.

“I knew God would bless me, I just didn’t know how or when. I believe in being a blessing to other people, to empower them. That’s what we’re all called to do,” he said.

That opportunity to bless came through “A Question of Faith.” He credits producer Angela White and music coordinator Nelson Jackson III, as well as God, with bringing the cast and music together.

“When we’ve been going around to the different cities, people have been telling us, ‘We weren’t expecting this. We were expecting something cheesy and preachy, something low-budget. But this is real, it’s authentic,’” he said.

Their comments reflect the faith-based film industry’s advancement in recent years as quality improves in film making, storylines and performances. The 2015 blockbuster hit “War Room” has seen a domestic total gross of $68 million, and Lewis sees its fans as the potential audience for “A Question of Faith.” In fact, it and “War Room” share a star in T.C. Stallings, who portrayed overachieving husband Tony to Priscilla Shirer’s Elizabeth in “War Room.” In “A Question of Faith,” he is Cecil King.

The three families in the film are diverse: a white family, a black family, a Latino family. That’s what Lewis wanted.

“I wanted a diverse cast,” he said. “People often come away from a film saying, ‘I couldn’t identify with anybody in it.’ We didn’t want a black cast, or a white cast or anything like that. We wanted to show a variety to show the unity of all of us. Our unity is in God. And if your heart is there, you’re in the right place. This film is about unity, forgiveness, God’s grace. No color matters. We want people to be able to see themselves.

“The thing that really makes me happy is feedback,” Lewis said. “I love it when people say it made them think of themselves and their reactions. What would happen to me? What would I do in that situation?”

“A Question of Faith” is rated PG and is playing at Cinemark in Gulfport and The Grand 18 in D’Iberville. It is distributed by Pure Flix and Silver Lining Entertainment.

Tammy Smith: 228-896-2130, @Simmiefran1