Historic Atlanta church featured in new 'Selma' movie

ATLANTA -- There's been a lot of activity around Wheat Street Baptist Church lately.

For five days, the historic Atlanta church appeared as if it was transported back 50 years to the eve of the Voting Rights Acts.

Wheat Street is playing the role of Brown Chapel AME – the starting point for many of the marches – for the movie Selma.

"They literally had to remove some of the physical things from our sanctuary as well as our educational building," said Henrietta Spearman, a Wheat Street Baptist Church board member.

On the temporary set, church parking served as roundup for production trucks, and the historic stained glass was written into the script.

The sanctuary -- the set itself -- was strictly off limits especially to our cameras. But the history isn't lost.

"For people who didn't know, they're going to have a much better understanding of what happened in Selma," said former Atlanta mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young.

Young certainly understands: he was there. Over the years, he's read the scripts of many attempts to tell this story that didn't work.

"It was a distorted view of the whole movement," Young said. Of the new movie, Young says, "Overall, I think they got the story."

With a history as rich as the Civil Rights Movement, there are always more stories to be told.

"One of the reasons that I want this movie to do well is because it'll mean that there will be others," Young said.

Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt are working together to create the movie.

David Oyelowo from The Butler will play Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Carmen Ejogo will play his wife, Coretta. Andre Holland will portray Ambassador Andrew Young. Colman Domingo Lee will be Ralph David Abernathy, Wendell Pierce as Reverend Hosea Williams, and it'll feature Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon B. Johnson.


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