Confessions of a Preacher's Daughter

Was Hollywood actress Erin Bethea -- star of "Fireproof," "Facing the Giants" and now "This Is Our Time" -- the stereotypical pastor’s kid growing up in a fishbowl, gawked at by the congregation as either an awful little hellion or hated by the other kids as a goodie-goodie?

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“But most of it was because I have such a great family and we’re really close.”

Can she identify a time where she began to feel like her faith really wasn’t hers – just her parents’?

“I think it happened for me at the same age that it happens for a lot of people,” recalls Bethea. “At college, I realized that for the first time I wasn’t living under my parents’ roof. So who is going to know if you aren’t doing right? That’s where I had to decide who I was going to be

– and what I really believed. That was when I had to decide how I wanted to exercise my faith out there in the real world.”

Erin and friends

Erin and friends

So, how many times as a college freshman did she skip going to church?

Bethea laughs. “A few weeks. You know, I skipped church more in college than I ever had in my younger life. It was like ‘Hey, I can sleep in. This is amazing,’ but I also found that I missed it. I found an incredible group of Christian friends who were just encouraging and we all sort of kept each other accountable. I was really, really blessed in that way. I think that was definitely part of God’s plan for me.”


A divine plan for each of us is the theme of Bethea’s new film, “This Is Our Time.”


Erin Bethea in “This Is Our Time”

“The takeaway is that God’s plan for everybody is different,” she says. “He had a unique plan for you when he created you. He created you as a unique individual. The Apostle Paul talks about that – you know, ‘I don’t have this gift and I don’t have that gift you know, but this is who God created me to be.’

“That’s a lot of what ‘This Is Our Time’ speaks to. I may not have this calling or that calling, but that doesn’t mean that my life has any less value – or that I can be any less used by God.

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