Hometown: Actor, Activist Erik Estrada to Visit Grafton Baptist Church

WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Actor Erik Estrada will be on hand for a screening of his film “Finding Faith” at Grafton Baptist Church this month.

Actor and activist Erik Estrada will be visiting Grafton Baptist Church later this month for a showing of one of his films that aims to keep kids safe from Internet predators.

Estrada is in the film, called “Finding Faith,” which is based on real cases of children who have fallen victim to Internet predators. The film is produced by the Safe Surfin’ Foundation, an organization that has launched programs for schools, churches and other groups to educate the public about this threat.

Estrada is best known for the role he played on the television drama “CHiPs” that ran from 1977 to 1983. Several years ago, he met with a police officer investigating child predators; after getting a glimpse of Internet-related childhood sexual abuse he decided to join the fight against this sort of crime.

“You get enraged, and then you get involved,” he said at a speaking engagement in December, according to a story in SafeSurfin.org.

The film is based on true stories and experiences from law enforcement officers with the Internet Crimes Against Children task force. It is a family-friendly, faith-based production in association with Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church.

According to the movie website, “‘Finding Faith’ is a movie based on actual events about a young girl who falls victim to a skillful online predator. This film shows how a model family can be torn apart by tragedy, but built back together by faith.”

The movie has for main goals, the site says:

  • To use a compelling story on film to educate parents and children about Internet safety in a non-intimidating way.
  • To reveal the challenging work and accomplishments of Virginia’s law enforcement agencies as they relate to Internet crimes with specific attention to Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
  • To give teens a comprehensive and realistic understanding of Internet safety.
  • To challenge teens to live dynamically and purposefully.

The screening at Grafton Baptist Church is part of a national awareness tour launched by Estrada and the Safe Surfin’ Foundation.

Grafton Baptist Church urges families to attend the screening. “In today’s world, most parents have had the conversation about technology and the challenges in keeping our kids protected online or on their smart phones,” according to the church’s website.

“Whether being concerned about your elementary-aged child learning to use search engines or managing your high schooler’s growing dependency on social networking sites this film is both entertaining and extremely educational.”

The free film screening will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the church located at 5440 George Washington Memorial Highway in Yorktown. Though the event is free, guests need to reserve tickets by calling (757) 817-3567.