Executive producers of the God’s Not Dead film series donated $25,000 to the Arkansas State Legislature towards replacing a Ten Commandments monument that was destroyed the day after it was erected on state Capitol grounds.
Representatives who appeared on behalf of PureFlix Entertainment and GND Media Group presented Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Bigelow) with a $25,000 check at a ceremony in the Capitol rotunda Thursday, Arkansas Online reported.
Lawmakers installed the original six-foot-tall granite structure inscribed with the Ten Commandments on Capitol grounds near the Arkansas Supreme Court June 27. The structure was funded with $26,000 in private donations from Rapert’s non-profit organization, the American History and Heritage Foundation.
Less than 24 hours after the monument’s installation, a man rammed his Dodge Dart into the monument, which crashed into pieces upon hitting the ground.
Executive producers of the movie series, Bob Katz and Troy Duhon, reached out to Gov. Asa Hutchinson after the destruction of the monument to offer the donation.
Rapert announced June 28 at a press conference that like the original monument, the replacement would be funded entirely through private donations.
Capitol police arrested Michael Tate Reed, of Van Buren, at the scene and charged him with one count of criminal trespass and one count of defacing an object of public respect, both misdemeanors, and a felony charge of first-degree criminal mischief.
Reed, who allegedly destroyed another Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma back in 2014, is being held on $100,000 bond.
The first God’s Not Dead movie, about a college student who argues with his atheist professor over the existence of God, grossed $60 million at the box office, according to movie revenue-tracking site Box Office Mojo.
The sequel, God’s Not Dead 2, was filmed in Little Rock in 2015, the same year Rapert introduced a bill proposing the monument.
Box Office Mojo reports that God’s Not Dead 2 made more than $20 million at the box office.
Rapert also announced at the Capitol Thursday that a third movie in the series, God’s Not Dead 3, would be filmed in Little Rock in the fall.