Michael Catt, the groundbreaking Georgia pastor who served as executive producer of the Christian movies Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof and Courageous, is facing setbacks in his battle with prostate cancer, his family said on social media Wednesday (May 24).
“In recent months, his health has taken a turn for the worse, and he has had several surgeries, hospitalizations and emergency room visits,” the family said.
“Recently, doctors found a tumor in his brain stem,” they noted.” They do not recommend operating on the tumor. Because of this, we have chosen to forego any future cancer treatments, with the goal now being to make him as comfortable as possible through palliative care for the few months he has left this side of heaven.”
The announcement sparked an outpouring on social media from people offering prayers and support to Catt and his family.
Catt served as senior pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany from 1989 to 2021. The church developed into a regional, multi-generational and multi-ethnic congregation made up of people from more than 20 nations.
Along with his local church ministry, Catt started the popular ReFRESH conferences held annually in Albany and various other locations across the country to encourage pastors and lay leaders. He also wrote the ReFRESH Bible study.
Big screen impact
Catt authored several books, including the best-selling Fireproof Your Life. But he is perhaps best known for the outside-the-box church outreach, Sherwood Pictures, that has promoted the gospel to millions via the big screen.
“Michael’s goal as the pastor of a regional church in a rural part of Georgia was to change the world from Albany, Georgia,” according to his online biography. “While that may seem like a radical, even ridiculous, statement from a pastor in Southwest Georgia, it has, in fact, become a reality.”
Catt and his wife, Terri, have two grown daughters, Erin and Hayley.
Request for prayers
In Wednesday’s social media posts, they asked for prayer for strength and comfort.
“And we ask that you pray for relief from any pain and unexplainable peace for Michael as he fights the good fight and finishes his race here on earth,” they wrote.
The announcement deeply impacted people Catt has touched through the years.
“Thank you for being an incredible witness and example of faithfulness to us all,” wrote Mitch Tidwell, a collegiate ministry consultant in Forth Worth, Texas.
“We have shared a lot of laughs on the golf course through the years,” wrote Ken Alford, pastor of First Baptist Church in Ashville, Alabama. “He has been such an inspiration to me. My love and prayers go out to this wonderful man of God as he finishes his course and heads to the ultimate clubhouse!”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Roger Alford and originally published by the Christian Index, news service of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.