Film mogul Tyler Perry recently revealed that he used God’s Word to establish the foundation for his 330-acre Atlanta, Georgia, studio due to the location's dark past.
Perry acquired the land for Tyler Perry Studios in 2015, and since its grand opening in 2019, the studio has been the launching pad for hundreds of TV shows and films.
In a recent interview with AARP, Perry revealed that before building sound stages on the land, he buried Bibles underneath the structures “as a way of refocusing the spirit of the place.”
Tyler Perry Studios is built on a former Confederate army base, and Perry is the first black American to own the land. On the property, he built 12 sound stages, each named after black actors and actresses that influenced the writer and visionary.
“The land itself was once a Confederate Army base, which meant there were people here fighting to keep my ancestors enslaved,” he explained to AARP.
The professing Christian shared that he was haunted by the land as soon as he stepped on it.
“From the moment I walked onto the property, I was haunted by it. So, as we built each of the 12 soundstages, we buried Bibles underneath them, as a way of refocusing the spirit of the place,” he continued.
Perry has since used the studio to create content honoring black experiences.
His scripted crime-drama series, “The Haves and the Have Nots,” ran for eight seasons on Oprah Winfrey's Own Network and was “the highest-rated show” on the channel.
“For Oprah and me, it was important to show black people that you can work together, that powers can come together and be successful,” Perry said.
He said that Tyler Perry Studios also provides jobs for many people, including those marginalized.
“Thousands of people come through the gate every day to work here. And it’s a beautiful thing. A lot of them are former prisoners who wouldn’t have had this shot,” he said.
Perry has been intentional about inviting God into his studio space since its launch.
During the grand opening gala for his studio in 2019, the performer hosted a church service and gospel brunch. The service was held in a replica church of the sanctuary featured in “The Color Purple” and featured performances from a gospel choir and the Clark Sisters along with a sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Clips of the brunch showed a slew of celebrities in attendance, including Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Z, Beyonce and Patti Labelle.
Several people from the gospel music world were also in attendance, such as Bebe and Cece Winans, David and Tamela Mann, Pastor John Grey and Kirk Franklin.
A video of Oprah showed the mogul in tears as a gospel choir sang while heading into the church.
At the time, Perry took to Instagram to give God praise for his success.
“Glory to Glory - Couldn’t close the weekend without Jesus meeting us on the lawn at the studio!! Having a full heart and a thankful soul to all that have prayed me all the way here,” Perry wrote.
Perry previously told The Christian Post how much of his work, including his film “A Fall from Grace,” reflects his faith and clinging to prayer in times of pain and uncertainty.
“I just want people to know that no matter how dark, no matter how bad, no matter how dismal the scene or situation you're in, there's still hope,” Perry said. “I say that even from my own life, realizing that I was in some of the darkest times in my life and didn't even know if I was going to make it. But as long as it held my faith and held on to hope and prayer and God and believing, it all came together.”
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: email@example.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic