November 9, 2016

Tennessean newspaper examines Desmond Doss' faith in feature article

Editor's note: The Tennessean, based in Nasvhille and the state's largest daily newspaper, took at look at the Seventh-day Adventist Church last week in advance of the release of "Hacksaw Ridge," a motion picture about the late Adventist Desmond T. Doss, Sr., the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, for heroism during the Battle of Okinawa, Japan, in 1945.

Reporter Holly Meyer, who covers religion for the paper, spoke with several Adventists in and around the state, as well as Daniel Weber, communications director for the North American Division. USA Today, the national newspaper published by Gannett, the newspaper's owner, also published Meyer's story.

Below are the first few paragraphs of the article, and a link to The Tennessean's website, where you can read the complete story.

Mel Gibson’s 'Hacksaw Ridge' puts faith in spotlight

BY HOLLY MEYER, The Tennessean

As moviegoers file into theaters [Nov. 4] for Mel Gibson’s bloody World War II biopic, members of Nashville First Seventh-day Adventist Church will be outside sharing the story of the man who inspired the film.

Hacksaw Ridge” tells the extraordinary true story of the late Desmond Doss, a devout Seventh-day Adventist who refused to carry a weapon due to religious beliefs while serving as a combat medic. He became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor after rescuing at least 75 soldiers during the violent battle for Okinawa in 1945.

The Hillsboro-West End congregation expects "Hacksaw Ridge" to spur questions for those unfamiliar with their Christian denomination and Doss, and they want to help answer them, said Melvin Santos, the church's pastor.

That's why a group of them will be handing out small booklets about the World War II hero and Adventism at Nashville-area theaters as well as at their church.

“We just wanted to share a little bit more insight because of his faith, his commitment, his dedication not only to serve his God but also his country,” Santos said. "We're in the heart of Nashville so if people are coming we also have an opportunity to field questions or invite them to know more about the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the church Desmond Doss was faithfully committed to."

— Read the rest of the article online here.