Christian Retailing

Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman, Sherwood Eliot Wirt, 'Billy, The Early Years' Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Thursday, 15 January 2009 04:15 PM America/New_York

Music fans had their day. Third Day won the Contemporary Inspirational Favorite Artist category of the American Music Awards, held Nov. 23 in Los Angeles. Third Day—which was unable to attend due to the band’s touring schedule—was recognized over MercyMe and Casting Crowns, who won the category in 2007. Pop sensations Jonas Brothers, all committed Christians, won the Breakthrough Artist Award category. The group’s name comes from the three sons of Kevin Jonas, a former Assemblies of God pastor who is one of their managers. Winners were determined by online voting.

Speaking of music, Steven Curtis Chapman has written and recorded the song, “Good Bye, Mr. President,” thanking President Bush for his service. “Whether you voted for him and love him, or you’ve disagreed with all his policies and dislike him, could we all agree on this?” he said. “We owe President Bush a sincere thank you.” Performing in 14 sold-out shows, Chapman also completed The United Tour with Michael W. Smith in November. It was the first time the veteran Christian music artists had toured together.

Sherwood Eliot Wirt, a former newspaperman who was founding editor of Billy Graham’s Decision magazine and the author of 42 books, died in his sleep Nov. 8. He was 97. Wirt, who ministered and traveled with Graham for nearly 40 years, wrote Billy: A Personal Look at the World’s Best-Loved Evangelist—published in 1997 by Crossway Books & Bibles—and Jesus, Man of Joy, released in 1999 by Harvest House Publishers.

Meanwhile, Billy: The Early Years—about the genesis of Billy Graham’s ministry—had a lackluster box office showing, while receiving lukewarm reviews. Released Oct. 10, the film—which stars Armie Hammer (Veronica Mars, Flicka) as the young evangelist—made less than $350,000 from 282 screens in the Southeast and Texas, according to BoxOffice