22-year-old rejects 'talent-based lame church camp'

by Nancy Bethea |

Justin Horne/Courtesy Photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Christian Examiner) – Budding actor Justin Horne wasn't interested in a "talent-based lame church camp" when his mom told him about a radio ad she heard for a talent organization called "Actors, Models and Talent for Christ (AMTC).

Justin Horne/Courtesy Photo

But the 22-year old was interested in singing, songwriting and acting, so he let his mom talk him into auditioning at a "call out."

Justin made the cut and in June finished his first AMTC conference. Since then he's gotten offers he only dreamed about previously. Like another of AMTC's graduates, T.C. Stallings of War Room fame, Justin not only got help for his acting, but a new perspective on life.

The 'Call Out'

Radio and billboard ads are part of AMTC's vision to "make good bolder" in entertainment by seeing the Great Commission of Jesus Christ carried out in film, fashion, music and theater, it's website says. AMTC fulfills its vision by sending teams around the nation and into some parts of the world to 'call out' individuals with gifts in the performing arts.

"The advertising is very to the point and very truthful, that God is raising up missionaries in the field of arts and entertainment," AMTC founder, Carey Lewis, told Christian Examiner. "For Christians who were born with talent in the performing arts, the [call out] is 'Come and hear what God's doing and see if you've been called to this purpose."

The Bridge Training Program

After the 'call out,' auditions, applications and interviews follow.

"Basically, we're looking for performers [who] have humility and heart, courage and talent," Lewis said, "Because without humility, God's not going to promote anybody."

If an applicant joins AMTC, he or she is placed into the Bridge Training Program where "New York Polish meets the Hand of God," Lewis added.

The New York Polish prepares clients to succeed on a national-level. It includes "having the look, the confidence, the audition skills and the pictures that get them respect before they ever do their audition," she added.

The Hand of God portion focuses on clients' spiritual preparation.

"They are taught by godly coaches who are industry professionals who have been embedded in the entertainment industry," Lewis said.

Justin Horne was accepted into AMTC, although he was skeptical moving forward. "I was really not interested in paying all this money to join what in my mind was this super-churchy talent experience, but I felt a call to sign up anyway, and, as usual, God provided." he said.

"Even then, I was still dreading it," he continued. "I had not gotten over the thought that this was just a talent-based lame church camp, but I continued to listen to what God said, and He said to move along and stick with it."

Shine Conference

Horne stuck with it and participated in AMTC's summer Shine Conference in Orlando in June.

The semi-annual Shine Conferences are "certified miracles" that don't happen anywhere else on the face of the earth, according to Lewis. "You have the kings of film, fashion, music and theater-industry professionals of such stature that they don't need to leave their offices, and rarely do.

"You have the director of 'God's Not Dead' and the senior casting director for Twentieth Century Fox sitting at the same table looking at actors," she added. "That's a pretty cool thing."

It was a pretty cool thing for Justin, too.

"Since I left Shine, I got a new perspective on life. I've had offers from a handful of agents and opportunities that I would not have gotten if it weren't for AMTC," Horne said.

Horne appreciates the professional training he received through AMTC, and he says the spiritual preparation was more of an awakening for him.

"It's an experience with like-minded believers who have similar goals and dreams, which is better than spiritual training in my eyes. [It gave me] a better understanding and a realization of God and His plan for my life.

"There's not really anything like it," he added.

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