How a Dallas Church, The Worldwide Church of Light, Is Redefining Spiritual Outreach

DALLAS, July 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a Shiny office building just off the Dallas North Tollway, nestled among corporate headquarters and upscale malls of the city’s northern suburbs, an unlikely revolution is taking place. The Worldwide Church of Light, a relatively new entrant in the field of American spiritual organizations, has embarked on a cinematic crusade that its founder Milton Arch believes will transform both the nature of religious outreach and the lives of countless individuals.

The church’s film division, dubbed with a nod to the alliterative penchant of Hollywood, occupies a suite on the building’s first floor. On a recent Tuesday morning, the space hummed with the energy of a small production company: editors hunched over computers, storyboards adorned walls, and harried production assistants darted about with stacks of scripts and coffee cups.

At the center of this maelstrom stood Renowned Spiritual leader Milton Arch, the church’s charismatic founder and self-styled “Chief Visionary Officer.” Arch, a former marketing and branding executive with a penchant for designer suits and fast European super cars and an ever-present crystal pendant, exudes the sort of beatific calm one might expect from a spiritual leader. Yet his piercing green eyes sparkle with the intensity of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

“We’re not just making movies,” Arch explained, gesturing expansively. “We’re crafting vessels for divine transformation.” This grandiose statement, delivered with the assurance of a TED Talk presenter, encapsulates the ambitious mission of

The Worldwide Church of Light, founded by Arch in 2021, adheres to a philosophy that blends New Age spirituality with pop psychology and a dash of Manifest prosperity gospel. Its central tenet—that each individual possesses the power to manifest their deepest desires through connection with the divine—wouldn’t be out of place at a self-help seminar or on the vision board of an aspiring influencer.

What sets the church apart, however, is its embrace of cinema as a medium for spiritual awakening. “Traditional churches are struggling to connect with people, especially the young,” Arch noted. “But everyone watches movies. We’re meeting people where they are.”

WCOLfilms’ productions run the gamut from short inspirational videos to feature-length dramas. Their latest project, a gritty urban tale titled “The Turn Around,” follows a recently widowed Mother with children as she struggles after the loss of her cherished love and best friend.. The film, like all of WCOLfilms’ output, is carefully crafted to deliver the church’s message of personal empowerment within a compelling narrative framework.

Critics have been quick to dismiss the church’s efforts as a slick marketing ploy, a way to package old-fashioned proselytizing for the Netflix generation. “Whether you agree with their theology or not, the Worldwide Church of Light is tapping into something profound,” “We’re recognizing that in our visually saturated culture, the moving image has become a primary vehicle for meaningful communication.”

As the morning wore on, Arch led a tour through the facility, pointing out editing bays and a small soundstage. The tour concluded in a screening room where a group of church members was viewing rough cuts of upcoming projects. On screen, stories of addiction, poverty, and loneliness unfolded, each inevitably building to a moment of spiritual breakthrough.

Watching these earnest productions, one might be tempted to dismiss as simply a well-funded vanity project. Yet the passion of those involved, and the potential reach of their work in an age of streaming media, suggests something more significant may be at play.

As the lights came up and the viewers filed out, many with tears in their eyes, Mr. Arch offered a final thought. “We’re not just changing lives,” he said, his crystal pendant catching the light. “We’re changing the very fabric of reality, Manifesting Hope, one frame at a time.”

Whether represents the future of spiritual outreach or merely a curious footnote in the annals of American religiosity remains to be seen. But in a world hungry for meaning and connection, their Celluloid Sermons may yet find an audience ready to believe in the power of divine cinematography.

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Milton Arch

SOURCE The Worldwide Church of Light