Kirk Cameron cries tears of 'gratitude and hope' at story hour event

Actor Kirk Cameron reads his book As You Grow at a public library in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Dec. 29, 2022. | Screenshot: Twitter/Brave Books

Christian actor and author Kirk Cameron said the crowd at a recent New Jersey library event promoting his faith-based children’s book brought him to tears, but not because of sadness; the “Growing Pains” star said the crowd made him cry tears of hope. 

Cameron and his publishing company, Brave Books, have been hosting story hour events at various libraries throughout the country, inviting people to attend and hear the actor read his new children’s book, As You Grow. The Christian-themed book teaches children about the biblical concept of the Fruits of the Spirit. 

On Saturday, the actor hosted his 10th story hour event at the Cherry Hill Library in New Jersey, which allowed Cameron to rent out a space for the private gathering. 

Fox News reported that a large crowd showed up to meet Cameron, and due to the overflow, many families were forced to wait in line until more space became available. The actor’s publishing company told the cable news outlet that around 700 people attended the event on Saturday. 

While parents and children waited in line, they began to sing and lift up their praises to God, which the 52-year-old celebrity said made him emotional, according to Fox News. The children’s book author said he cried "tears of gratitude and hope.” 

"When the overflow group of families … started their own worship service — think beautiful voices of children and strong declarations from moms and dads, hands raised, singing sacred songs of thankfulness and praises to God — filling the lobby, the staircase and expanding into the upper room [of the two-story library], I got emotional and began to cry," Cameron told the outlet via email.

The publishing company Brave Books told Fox News that due to the high volume of attendees, the library staff opened up a room divider, which allowed them to hold three separate story hours and not have to turn anyone away. 

In a Saturday tweet, the publishing company shared a video of people worshiping at the event, writing, “God is on the move.” 

Brave Books also complimented how accommodating the library staff was to Cameron, along with John Solomon, editor-in-chief of Just the News, who's a frequent guest on Fox News, and musician Sean Feucht.

Feucht is a former worship leader at Bethel Church who recently said the nation should be ruled by people of faith. Feucht, who is also the founder of Let Us Worship, led the audience in singing worship songs, the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

"I leave the New Jersey public library full of hope and expectation that if parents are standing up here in the Northeast, then parents are going to stand up anywhere all across America,” the Christian singer told Fox News Digital via email. 

As The Christian Post previously reported, a Tennessee library board fired the director of the Hendersonville library back in March after the actor alleged that then-Director Allan Morales and his staff were not accommodating during a February story hour event. In addition to Cameron, the event featured University of Kentucky swimmer and women's sports advocate Riley Gaines and reality star Missy Robertson of "Duck Dynasty.”

In a Feb. 28 Facebook post, Cameron reflected fondly on the event, with the exception of the “unkind pushback” from what he described as a “disgruntled librarian.” Missy Robertson also said during a podcast interview with BlazeTV's "Unashamed with Phil & Jase Robertson” that the library staff kept talking loudly and making other disruptive noises when she and Cameron attempted to film a promotional video of the event. 

According to the “Duck Dynasty” star, a Brave Books team member then asked someone in charge if they could ask their staff to keep it down for a few minutes. While she didn’t mention anyone by name, Robertson said that the person the team member spoke to replied, “You’re not even supposed to be here anyway.” 

In a series of email messages between the library and a Brave Books representative obtained by CP, the former library director appeared concerned about the event's size and that it would be political. 

Tim Jones, county commissioner for Tennessee's 23rd district, who was present at the event, addressed the allegations against the Hendersonville Library and its staff in a March 16 Facebook post. The county commissioner stated at the time that he didn't believe Morales was a bad man but believed the director made some questionable decisions. 

Jones clarified that Brave Books had a contract with the library permitting them to use the facility's community room for the event. When Cameron and his group decided to use the library foyer to film a promotional video, Morales “reluctantly agreed, as Jones noted. 

Despite the mayor’s expressed support for the event, the county commissioner noted that Morales had a negative attitude throughout the day, and he did not correct his staff when they became disruptive. 

"We had an opportunity to be, as the Bible and Ronald Reagan referred to, 'a city on the hill,' a beacon for the nation to see why so many have moved here. Instead, we are an embarrassment," Jones wrote. 

The occurrences at the Tennessee library are not the first time that Cameron has claimed that he has faced challenges hosting a story hour. The actor and his publishing company said in December 2022 that over 50 public libraries declined to run a story hour program for the actor to read his book despite having hosted controversial drag queen story hour events. However, some told the actor that he could fill out a form and reserve a spot for himself. 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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