ST. PETERSBURG – Rob Reynolds has accomplished a lot in his life – successful real estate entrepreneur, loyal husband and loving father. Now he’s aiming really high.
“I don’t want to just get by as a Catholic. I want to be a saint. I’m definitely on a mission, ”said Reynolds, owner of Cross Boss Media in Tampa, Florida.
Over the past three years he has devoted himself full time to the development of Christian television programming that entertains and evangelizes the hearts of young people.
But he said that this mission was not his. During a silent retreat in 2018, he heard a clear call to leave his real estate company and enter the ministry.
“It is not my reason to draw children to God; rather, it was for the cause of God that he chose me to lead, build a great team and – above all – remain faithful, ”Reynolds told Gulf Coast Catholic, the online media for the Diocese of St. Petersburg.
His media company’s first show, “Studio 3:16”, premiered nationally on September 8, which was the feast of the Nativity of Our Blessed Mother, Mary. The show can be viewed on studio316.com.
Reynolds hired a Hollywood-based director / screenwriter and cinematographer to give the show a polished and professional presentation. It incorporates scriptures, music, the arts, humor, and great storytelling.
“The media, as well as the universities, are effectively attacking and destroying the innocence and faith of our children and families, and I will no longer stand and watch and complain,” he said. “I’m not going to fight it either by producing mediocre content, hoping for a pass from the kids and parents because it’s Christian.”
“It has to be great content on its own,” said Reynolds, a parishioner at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa.
To give the series an authentic quality, Reynolds has created a guild of local student writers who are paid to review and revise each script with the producers of the series to ensure that the program appeals to their target audience, the children. from 7 to 12 years old.
John Bergsma, professor at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, also in Steubenville, is a program advisor who ensures that the interpretation of the scriptures in each episode is faithful to the teaching of the Catholic Church.
In addition, local priests were invited to get involved in the program. Father Chuck Dornquast, director of vocations for the Diocese of St. Petersburg, appeared on the first broadcast. The priest is known for his sociable personality and his active presence on social networks.
“What inspires me about ‘Studio 3:16’ and the efforts of Rob and his team is that there is no safety net. They were faithful in prayer, recognized an immense need in the body of Christ, saw a call to give of themselves to this need, and they did. There was no backup plan or model. They courageously live the gospel, ”said Father Chuck, as he is best known.
The show’s creators aim “to inspire young people to imitate Christ through the foundation of virtue, faith and truth.”
The plot involves a spirited Christian artist, “helped by unsuspecting collaborators”, who discovers how relevant the gospel passages are today so that he can reconcile his own shortcomings, keep his work and teach children about God through his music.
Shevin McCullough, resident of Tampa, is the co-writer and lead actor of “Studio 3:16”. He plays the good-natured but misguided recording artist who writes and publishes songs to explain the weekly Sunday Gospel passage.
The program is available free of charge and viewers will be encouraged to financially support the program.
Press release says “Studio 3:16” has a funding model similar to that of “The Chosen,” a popular Life of Christ television series that has surpassed 250 million views in the past two years and a half.
The show is heavily marketed nationally, but has a local feel to locals.
“Many of our team are proud residents of Tampa, proud Catholics of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, and proud parishioners of various local churches,” said Reynolds.
“We believe the show will have a Christ-centered impact on children within and far beyond the local area,” added Reynolds.