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'I Still Believe': The True Story Behind The Powerful Movie & Song 

In the powerful film, I Still Believea young couple learns to rely on their faith in God through unimaginable circumstances. The movie was released in March 2020, and even though its release coincided with the pending COVID-19 pandemic, it made its mark and touched audiences everywhere. The movie is a story about faith, love, hope, and redemption, but some may not know that the film is based on the real-life story of Grammy-nominated Christian music singer-songwriter, Jeremy Camp.

Camp grew up in Lafayette, Indiana as the son of a Christian pastor and attended college at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, California. The movie begins when Camp (played by KJ Apa) arrives at college and attends a concert, which is where he first sets eyes on his future wife, Melissa Henning (played by Britt Robertson). The two begin to become close, but Melissa soon falls ill and is diagnosed with cancer in her liver. Later, she is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but the cancer soon disappears. The two then get married, but not long after they say "I do," Melissa's cancer returns.

Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp passed away on February 5, 2001 when she was 21 and Camp was 23. I Still Believe follows Camp and his wife holding onto hope during her illness, but it also shows the aftermath of Melissa's death, which finds Camp wrestling with his faith and almost abandoning his music career altogether as well as his belief in God. However, after finding a note from his late wife in his guitar, Camp decides to press on. It's a truly inspiring story and one that becomes even more moving when brought the life on the big screen.

It was out of this tragedy that Camp wrote his emotional song, "I Still Believe," in which he recommits to his faith in God. The song was released in June 2003 from his first major label studio album, Stay. "I Still Believe" peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart and was nominated for Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year at the 2004 GMA Dove Awards. Through the trauma of losing his wife, Camp continued to feel a connection to God that led to this inspiring song that has resonated with so many over the years.

"This is the first song that the Lord gave me after the passing of my wife," Camp wrote in the liner notes of the album. "I remember one night the Lord speaking to my heart to sit down and write a song, and I really didn't feel like writing at the time, but of course the tug was too strong. The whole basis of the song is that basically, no matter what happens in your life or how devastating a situation may be, God is still on the throne. And everything in His word is truth."

At the end of the movie, Camp meets another woman at another concert. This time, however, the concert is his own and the woman is named Adrienne Liesching, the former lead singer of a band called The Benjamin Gate. Jeremy and Adrienne Camp were married in December 2003 and have three children together: Isabella, Arianne, and Egan. The family now lives near Nashville, Tennessee. It almost seems like God and Melissa were looking out for Camp by sending him Adrienne at that specific concert. He was able to find happiness in the end which is even more impactful knowing that it's all a true story.

I Still Believe was directed by the Erwin Brothers, who also directed I Can Only Imagine, a movie about the life story of MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard. The film also stars country singer Shania Twain and actor Gary Sinise as Camp's parents.

Camp has released 10 studio albums since the release of "I Still Believe" in 2003, including Carried Me: The Worship Project (2004), Speaking Louder Than Before (2008), I Will Follow (2015), The Answer (2017), The Story's Not Over (2019), and more. Other notable songs by Camp include "Walk By Faith," "There Will Be A Day," "The Way," "He Knows," "Word of Life," "Keep Me In The Moment," and others. The Christian singer released a new version of "I Still Believe" and a new music video along with the movie in 2020. In addition to his Dove Awards and Grammy nomination, Camp has won six ASCAP Awards and has been nominated for three American Music Awards.

This article was originally published in 2021.

READ MORE: 'I Can Only Imagine': A Story of Forgiveness Inspired the Song & Movie