T.D. Jakes, producer of the wildly successful film Heaven Is for Real, recently acquired film rights to another inspirational, true-life story. The book, Where a Man Stands: Two Different Worlds, an Impossible Situation, and the Unexpected Friendship That Changed Everything, chronicles the adventures of Carter Paysinger and Steven Fenton.
Carter Paysinger’s mother pursued a multicultural permit that allowed a few minority students to attend the upscale, mostly white, mostly Jewish, Beverly Hills High. It was then that Paysinger had to live up to his parents’ motto of “Don’t just strive to be good. Always strive to be great.” Surviving and even thriving at a school where he had little in common with his peers, he later returned to Beverly Hills High School as coach. He mentored countless teens over the years, including Steven Fenton who was powerfully inspired by his mentor before graduating and moving on.
Skip ahead twenty years. Fenton and Paysinger were reunited when Beverly Hills High began to suffer from poor administration and families abandoning the school. Joining together in a fight for the entire community, Fenton encouraged Paysinger to apply for the position of principal. But Paysinger was quickly rejected because he didn’t “fit the profile.” The book chronicles the struggle that followed and the events that led to Paysinger becoming the first African-American principal in the school’s 80-year history.
Paysinger and Fenton co-authored the book, which was published by Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. “When we announced the book deal, I received more inquiries on the movie rights than any other book I published,” Jonathan Merkh, VP and publisher of Howard Books, told The Hollywood Reporter. “This is a story that is unique yet universal.”
The winner of the movie rights bid would ultimately be T.D. Jakes, whom Fenton and his wife first met at the Potter’s House megachurch in Dallas. Jakes, Fenton and Paysinger have an exciting road ahead, and T.D. Jakes continually proves to find inspiring stories that connect with audiences.
Source and Original Content by Christian Cinema
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