Hollywood producer urges Christians to host Academy Awards Sunday

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
Phil Cooke has produced media programming in nearly 50 countries around the world and is the founder and CEO of Cooke Pictures in Burbank, California. | Facebook/Phil Cooke

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Christian Examiner) -- Award winning Hollywood producer Phil Cooke has worked with evangelist Billy Graham and numerous ministries, including the Southern Baptist Convention, to create impactful media throughout the years, but now he's asking Christians to get involved in the most impacting way of all -- through prayer.

In an article he wrote for Charisma News, Cooke urged Christians to see Hollywood as a "mission field."

"Recently, as I've been speaking at conferences and events around the world, I've been urging Christians to stop looking at Hollywood as the enemy, and start looking at Hollywood as a mission field," Cooke wrote.

"After all, what if Christians stopped just criticizing, and actually started praying for the most influential industry in the world? Something amazing might happen."

Praising the efforts of ministries like the Hollywood Prayer Network, Cooke used his platform to echo an Academy Awards prayer challenge issued by Larry Poland, founder of Mastermedia International, another ministry dedicated to reaching Hollywood.

In an email news blast that was posted on Charisma by Cooke, Poland asked: "What if pastors and congregations and Sunday school classes nationwide prayed for media in one mighty movement . . . on Oscar Sunday, February 22, 2015?"

Cooke called the gesture a "good idea" and encouraged churches to take the move a step further by hosting an "Oscar Party."

"We often complain about Hollywood, but what if we put our money where our mouth is, and pray? On Academy Awards night – February 22nd – have an "Oscar Party" at your church," Cooke said.

Cooke is founder and chief executive officer of Cooke Pictures and was recently named executive producer of the "Hour of Power with Bobby Schuller."