Linda Jennings is a pastor and a writer – and now an actress.
In all of her roles in life, her Christian faith takes center stage. Now, she and her husband, Tom, have launched a Christian comedy series that can be viewed via the internet.
The Jenningses created Heaven Road Studio, and Heaven Road has launched its first project, “Nut’n But The Truth.”
Jennings said the show combines drama and comedy elements and takes a humorous look at church life.
“The basic premise of the series is the joining together of a black church and a white church,” Jennings said. Jennings, who is white, has spent years in multicultural ministry, and that experience shows in “Nut’n But The Truth.”
Jennings plays Lynn Jenkins, a retired pastor who is more than content in her retirement. When she learns about a black church that needs a pastor – but doesn’t have any money to pay one – she agrees to come out of retirement.
Jenkins is a pastor who loves everybody, but she sometimes takes an unorthodox approach to things, which leads to conflict with Deacon Hall, played by Dean Lillard.
“Deacon Hall hates my character because she's white, female and not too crazy about the traditions of men,” Jennings said.
“Nut’n But The Truth” did red carpet events at Somerby, a retirement community near Senoia where Jenning’s late mother lived, and at New Vision Church in Fayetteville.
“We used those evenings to ‘test the waters,’ and we received rave reviews,” Jennings said. “So we felt secure enough to put it out on the web.”
Jenning is a Coweta County resident and knows many Cowetans through her work as a minister or through her books and other writings. She previously co-hosted a local talk show, “Tea with Maggie and Linda,” which aired for 10 years.
After the death of her co-host, Jennings said she felt the Lord begin to nudge her about writing “scripted Christian entertainment that could be viewed from home.” Jennings obeyed and began to write.
“Although humor is a prime component, the main goal is to preach the gospel in a way that can be easily received by all, and to demonstrate how people from different cultures and backgrounds can come together and stay together for the purposes of the Kingdom,” Jennings said.
For the Jenningses, an additional goal is to train youth to produce their own Christ-
centered media. “We want to train young folks and send them back to their individual churches to help get those youth fired up about producing Godly media.
“When we bring youth on set, we not only train them to produce Godly media, we also encourage and mentor them in education and future career plans,” Jennings said. “It's wonderful.”
Reflecting back to the onset of the project, Jennings remembers thinking about her age
and her husband’s upcoming retirement.
“Am I nuts to begin such a huge project?” she asked herself.
Then she read a statistic indicating that there were more than 200,000 porn sites on
the internet. She said she heard the Lord say, “Where are My people? I have given them the mind of my Son. They are to be the most creative people on the earth.”
As a result, she and her husband forgot about retirement and committed to keeping “their hands to the plow.”
All posted videos can be seen on YouTube. Go to youtube.com and enter: Nut’n But The Truth.
“A portion of each episode is posted every Saturday at noon,” Jennings said. Fans can also keep up with the series by following its Facebook page – Facebook.com/nutnbut
Jennings also said people can see two episodes free by emailing her at email@example.com
The team putting together “Nut’n But The Truth” is an eclectic bunch. Tom Jennings, the director, is a retired pilot with degrees in engineering, aviation and space systems. Linda Jennings has stints as a probation officer and a parole officer on her resume.
Lillard is a retired school principal. A pastor and former businesswoman are also involved in the “Nut’n But The Truth” project. Rounding out the cast are Loretta Perry, who plays Gina Nash, and Derrick Rucker, who plays Pastor McKnight.
“The cast and crew see themselves as missionaries,” Linda Jennings said. “We aren't going to China or Africa – we're going to the internet.”