NORMAN — When the May 20, 2013, EF-5 tornado barreled through Moore, Okla., leaving a wake of death and destruction in its path, many were left wondering: Where was God?
It’s a question Steven Earp, lead pastor at Elevate Church in Moore, has set out to answer in a faith-based documentary exploring the role of faith and hope in overcoming life’s trials titled “Where Was God? Stories of Hope After the Storm.”
“God is present in the lives of people who love him, and the interacting and giving care of people who run to the source of the disaster while some of us are running away — God is there,” Earp said.
The film, following the lives of those impacted by the tornado throughout the community, is scheduled to premiere at the Moore Warren Theatre May 16. Earp, the film’s executive producer, said the movie will screen for a week, or more, depending on ticket sales. Tickets are available online now at movietickets.com.
About two weeks after the tornado hit, Earp said he was approached by a friend, a movie producer, about the possibility of creating a documentary about the event. By the fall they were interviewing families in the community looking for stories of hope and overcoming.
Before he knew it, Earp said the project grew to become “something much bigger than we imagined.”
“By the fall we had local, area filmmakers that are all professionals come on board. Some of them volunteering, some of them very part time just doing what they could,” he said. “The quality, the production, everything just increased exponentially and it’s grown and gotten a lot of momentum and we feel really good about it.”
The movie tells the stories of many individuals Earp described as “heroic.” Among them, Plaza Towers Elementary school teacher Karen Marinelli who shattered her tail bone protecting her students, as well as Plaza Towers Principal Amy Simpson who courageously continues to lead the school.