It is said that “with God all things are possible.” That is certainly true for the latest offering from Reverence Gospel Media (RGM) CEO and producer, Galley Molina: I’m in Love with a Church Girl. This story, loosely based on Molina’s own life, recounts the tale of a hardcore drug dealer who finds redemption through love of a godly woman.
Miles Montego, played by hip-hop star Jeff “Ja Rule” Atkins, is now a successful show promoter. But has he really left that old life behind? He still hangs out at his old haunts with his “boys,” Martin, (played by Christian rap star, T-Bone), “T” (played by Tobymac), and their gang. Trailing Montego are a DEA surveillance team, (Stephen Baldwin and Michael Madsen) gathering evidence to arrest them in a major drug bust.
Through a series of “coincidences,” Miles meets Vanessa Leon (played by Adrienne Bailon) at a pool party put on by a mutual friend, Nick, (well-known star of The Sopranos, Vincent Pastore). Thus begins their stormy romance, where Miles is inspired to learn about God through his love for Vanessa, and Vanessa learns, to her consternation, about Miles’ past life.
Church Girl Producer Galley Molina is CEO of (RGM). The movie closely parallels his life. In the movie, however, Miles finds the church girl and God after leaving jail. In real life, Molina found the church girl (to whom he is now married) and God first.
Then he went to jail.
"They think that once you become saved your life is just peaches and cream," said Molina. "For me, the storm of my life happened after. I gave my life to Christ and then I was indicted, I went to bed on top of the world and I woke up with the world on top of me."
Molina began writing Church Girl while in prison. In a genuinely ironic case of life imitating art, Atkins went to jail immediately following the movie’s filming in 2011 to serve a two year prison sentence on weapons and tax evasion charges. Though he had dabbled in religion, unlike many of the film’s participants, Ja Rule was not a Christian.
Now out again, Atkins says it changed him. "You get a chance to really to be at one with yourself. A lot of late nights, by myself… Right now I'm on my God flow, you know what I mean? I got Job 1:21 tattooed on my chest."
The soundtrack was produced by 5-time Grammy Award winner and Christian music legend Israel Houghton, who wrote and performed original songs for the movie, including Providence, Sunday Kind of Love, Better, Worthy of All Praise and I Surrender. T-Bone also performed in a number of pieces, including, Possess My Body, Return of the Bionic Man and others.
Given Hollywood’s hostility to anything and everything Christian, this is a very brave film. It is boldly, proudly Christian, and as Molina says, it is indeed an inspiring story of “surrender, redemption and second chances.” As a piece of contemporary drama, the film stands on its own. Actors turn in good performances and the story is solid and entertaining. But films like this should be supported if for no other reason than to reward producers willing to risk making healthy, clean and entertaining movies with an uplifting message, in counterpoint to the typically violent and decadent Hollywood fare.