|REEL FACE:||REAL FACE:|
Born: June 16, 1997
Auckland, New Zealand
Born: January 12, 1978
Birthplace: Lafayette, Indiana, USA
Born: April 18, 1990
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Born: October 7, 1979
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, USA
Death: February 5, 2001 (ovarian cancer)
Born: March 17, 1955
Blue Island, Illinois, USA
Born: August 28, 1965
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Born: June 16, 1988
Jean-Luc La Joie
Born: March 18, 1998
Geneva, Florida, USA
Born: July 12, 1981
Birthplace: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Yes. While researching the I Still Believe true story, we discovered that singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp was closely involved in the making of the movie. In fact, the film is based on his memoir I Still Believe, published in 2011. The book offers a more in-depth look at Camp's life, including his childhood, the loss of his first wife Melissa Henning, and his relationship with God.
During an interview with WAY Nation, he described being present for the filming of some of the hospital scenes. "It was not easy," said Camp. "The hospital brings back bad memories for me. At one point, I literally was watching a hospital scene and I broke down. I left."
"First time I met her, we were at a Bible study, I remember, and doing worship," says Camp of the real story. "I looked up [while playing] at one point, and there she was, just raising up her hands, just singing, like, abandon. 'No one else is around me. I don't care who's around me. It's me and Jesus right now.' And that's what kind of attracted me to her ... she has a relationship with Jesus. And that kind of was the start of me going, 'Okay, who is this girl?'" At the time they met in 1999, Jeremy was 22 and Melissa 20. They began hanging out and fellowshipping together and grew closer. -WAY Nation
Yes. According to the I Still Believe movie true story, Camp says that he and Melissa had ups and downs in their relationship, like every couple. "There came a point where, you know, we kind of broke it off, and I was devastated, 'cause I thought she was 'the one'." He said that he waited about two weeks and then decided he was going to tell her he loved her. Upon telling her, she replied, "Yeah, I can't tell you that right now." Months went by and Jeremy had begun to feel that things were over.
It's true that Camp's mentor was Jean-Luc La Joie from the band The Kry, but unlike the movie, La Joie wasn't also in love with Melissa. "Another friend who was a Bible study leader was the one in love with Melissa, not my mentor in music," Camp told The Federalist. "But in the film, they couldn't add another character, so they had to condense that aspect into Jean Luc. When I asked him, he said, 'Of course it's okay!'"
Melissa Henning was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2000 during her time apart from Jeremy. By the time it was discovered, it had already spread throughout her whole abdomen, including all of her major organs and was in her liver.
No. In real life, Jeremy and Melissa were married in a church on October 21, 2000. They sang together at the wedding as Jeremy played guitar.
Yes. "Things were looking better," says Camp. "She went through the chemo during our engagement." It was at that time that she lost all of her hair, but he says that through it all, she emanated such joy and love for the Lord. Like in the film, Melissa went to see the doctor when they got back from their honeymoon because she had been experiencing stomach pain while they were away. The doctor told her that the cancer had returned and that she had weeks to months to live. -WAY Nation
Married on October 21, 2000, Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp succumbed to cancer three-and-a-half months later on February 5, 2001. She was 21.
Yes. For example, KJ Apa's character throwing his Bible is taken directly from the I Still Believe real story. "I would read about how God healed in the Gospels and I would throw my Bible across the room," Camp told CCM Magazine. "I questioned whether God is a loving God. In frustration I would say, 'I don't want to share in your faithfulness because I don't think you are faithful.'" Camp says that he held his belief in Jesus close to him, but he also had unbelief too. "It was a journey, for sure," says Camp. "It wasn't easy - a lot of grieving, a lot of anger, a lot of just, confusion, but God was there every single step" (WAY Nation).
"That was two weeks after she went to be with Jesus," Camp said of when he penned his hit song "I Still Believe". He said that he wrote the song "Walk by Faith" while Melissa was sick, when they were on their honeymoon, which is depicted in the movie. Actor KJ Apa does his own singing in the film, including the song after which the film is titled. The songs sung by KJ Apa are featured on the I Still Believe Soundtrack, including "Find Me In The River", which was also featured in the movie's trailer.
Yes. After graduating from high school, Camp went to Bible college for two years at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, California, earning an associate degree in theology. He would later become an ordained minister.
Yes. South-African born Adrienne Liesching (pictured below) had been the frontwoman of the Christian pop-rock band The Benjamin Gate. She met Jeremy while on tour in 2002. According to Jeremy, Adrienne approached him and told him how much his story had affected her. She reminded him of what his late wife Melissa said after being diagnosed with cancer, that if she was able to bring at least one person into the arms of Jesus, then everything she had gone through was worth it. Adrienne told him that she was one of those people who had been touched by Melissa and his story. "She had been struggling and not doing well," Jeremy said of Adrienne, "just really having a hard time, and God used our story to minister to her. So that's how we, in the film, kinda like, we meet." -WAY Nation
Learn more about the I Still Believe movie true story by watching the interviews, music video, and behind-the-scenes featurette listed below.