Michael Cameron Catt (December 25, 1952 – June 12, 2023) was an American film producer, writer, and the senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church until his retirement in 2021. He was best known for his 2008 film, “Fireproof.” Catt was also the author of several books and booklets. He married Terri Catt in 1974, and they had two daughters, Hayley Catt and Erin Bethea, who appeared in the aforementioned film.
Catt obtained a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi College, a master’s degree in theology from Luther Rice Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity Theological Seminary in South Florida.
Five years ago, the Georgia pastor was initially diagnosed with prostate cancer, and since then, he has been courageously battling the disease.
In a Twitter post, it was mentioned that “Throughout these five years, despite undergoing numerous radiation and chemotherapy treatments, he has been blessed with minimal side effects or pain.”
As many of you know, Michael has been courageously battling prostate cancer for the past five years. In those five years, he has been blessed to have minimal side effects or pain, despite dozens of radiation and chemo treatments. 🧵— Michael Catt (@MichaelCatt) May 24, 2023
In early May, family, friends and members of Sherwood’s church sent hundreds of letters of encouragement to Cart.
What a blessing when @PaulGotthardt & Brea rang the doorbell in Canton today with 100’s of prayer cards from people at @SherwoodChurch – we’re so grateful for the laughter, conversation and prayer time. pic.twitter.com/aX7teoMqwg— Michael Catt (@MichaelCatt) May 8, 2023
“We are so grateful for the time of laughter, conversations and prayer,” the post read.
Sherwood Pictures was started through the church in 1989 and Catt was its pastor for 30 years before stepping down in 2021. He was also the author of multiple books, including the best-selling Fireproof Your Life. Catt and his family have been active in evangelism, planting churches around the country and serving the poor and needy through many different efforts.
His work to help struggling marriages and families spawned a series of popular Bible studies and led to him being featured on numerous television and radio shows, including the Drudge Report, The Fox News Channel, The Glenn Beck Show, Janet Parshall’s America and American Family Radio. He has appeared on the covers of several magazines, including Christianity Today and Leadership Journal.
Sherwood Church is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Michael C. Catt, our beloved fifth pastor who faithfully shepherded Sherwood for 31 years. Join us in prayer for the Catt family and all those who knew Michael as pastor and friend. pic.twitter.com/T2X3ScgmPy— Sherwood Church (@SherwoodChurch) June 12, 2023
On June 12, 2023, at the age of 70, Catt passed away from complications of prostate cancer.
He and his wife also founded the Sherwood Foundation, which has helped thousands of people in need. The foundation has established numerous crisis pregnancy centers, built a 100-acre Legacy Sports Park and repurposed an old Coca-Cola bottling plant as a center for disaster relief operations. It also helps provide job training to at-risk youth and homeless persons in the city. Sherwood’s connections and local missions pastor, Ken Bevel, oversees those activities.
In his last year of pastoral ministry, Sherwood Church opened its doors to the public for tours. Catt, who was a member of the church board, said that he loved to welcome people into the facility and see them face-to-face.
As the years passed, Sherwood grew into one of the most prominent evangelical churches in the country. Its outside-the-box initiatives have helped to evangelize the community and beyond. In addition to the Sherwood Foundation, the church has established a large presence in its city through various ministries, including the Legacy Sports Park and repurposing an old Coca-Cola bottling factory into a disaster relief center.
Our prayers are with Michael and his beloved wife Terri and their two daughters Erin and Hayley. Rest in peace Michael, you were one of the best men on earth.