TruthQuest: California set for national premier

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--"TruthQuest: California," the nation's first Christian reality television series, will debut on FamilyNet Television Oct. 3. The show features 12 Southern Baptist teenagers as they travel across California and apply their faith in Jesus Christ in the real world.

TruthQuest: California will air weekly on FamilyNet Television on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. Eastern time; Fridays, 12 a.m. & 11 p.m. Eastern; Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. Eastern; and Sundays, 12:30 a.m. Eastern.

The show is a partnership of three Southern Baptist organizations -- Baptist Press, the national news service of the SBC; FamilyNet Television, a broadcast division of the North American Mission Board; and Broadman & Holman Publishers of LifeWay Christian Resources, creators of the TruthQuest Inductive Study Bible.

TruthQuest team members are Shanna Hawkins from Winston-Salem, N.C.; David Hicks, Andy Botts and Cara Yates from Cleveland, Tenn.; Josh Merritt from Snellville, Ga.; Sarah Brown from Youngstown, Ohio; Richard Sparkman and Tim Harms from Franklin, Tenn.; Janie Jo Allen from Denver; Freeman Field from New York City; Chip Luter from New Orleans; and Katie Royals from Jackson, Miss.

A TruthQuest premier party will be held at the LifeWay Christian Store in Franklin, Tenn., featuring TruthQuest members, Jason Perry from Plus One, and an in-store viewing of the first episode on a big-screen television. The first 200 guests at the party will receive complimentary copies of the B&H TruthQuest Survival Guide, an in-depth course in apologetics.

Christian Hit Radio will broadcast the premier party live on its national network.

The show has drawn the attention of a curious secular media. USA Today listed TruthQuest California's website, http://truthquest.sbc.net as one of its "Hip Clicks."

The Nashville Scene, a weekly arts and entertainment magazine, complimented the show's production quality.

"The program itself, which begins this week, fits in fairly comfortably with the rest of television's reality TV fodder," reviewer Bill Ditenhafer wrote. "For a fraction of the budget, [Executive producer Martin Coleman] and his crew have produced a show that, with the volume down, is relatively indistinguishable from its secular competitors. With polished contributions from several Christian rock bands, the program moves along at the same frenetic pace as its MTV counterpart, though maybe to a less recognizable beat."

For 16 days the TruthQuesters wrote stories and shared on camera about the cutting-edge ministries in California they participated in. Their stories appeared on Baptist Press' www.bpnews.net website and their adventures were chronicled in 13 half-hour episodes by FamilyNet Television to begin airing Oct. 3. The TruthQuest: California team learned to surf with a Christian surfing ministry in San Diego, attended a church on the beach, scaled the mountains in Yosemite National Park with Southern Baptist national park ministry staff, and shared their faith with teenagers at a coffeehouse in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco as well as experienced many other challenges and activities during their travels.


(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: SHARING A THOUGHT, REFLECTIONS, TAKING A BREAK, RADIO INTERVIEW, BEHIND THE CAMERA, THE OPENING and RUNNING FOR COVER.