In late 2014, Pastor Chris began praying for a way to follow his father’s footsteps during WWII. He wanted to go to Belgium and Germany but didn’t have the money. Two years later, the Lord answered his prayers.
In August 2016, Stanlee Stahl, Executive Vice President of The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR), called Chris and invited him to follow his father’s WWII footsteps. All it would cost him was his time and lots of energy. And it got better.
Stanlee shared that she and a film crew would join him as they filmed a documentary retelling the inspiring story of his father Roddie from the battlefields, to the barracks of the hellish POW camps, to the American homes of blessed soldier boys who became men during the Battle of the Bulge.
Without hesitation Chris said, “Yes I’ll go. I’ve been praying for someone to take me to Germany for two years. You’re the answer to my prayers."
While in Germany, the crew shot enough film for two award-winning films thanks to the excellent production crew of Stanlee Stahl, Paul Allman, Dean Beals, Petr Cikhart, sound engineers from Brussels and our excellent WWII guides Carl Wouters and Doug Mitchell.
In 2016, the JFR released an award-winning documentary about Master Sgt. Edmonds titled Following the Footsteps of My Father. The 14 minute film is being shown in classrooms across America to teach students about the holocaust.
In 2018, the JFR made a longer documentary on Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, Footsteps of My Father. The film uncovers an act of extraordinary courage by Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds, a devout Christian from Tennessee who risked his own life to save the lives of 200 Jewish G.I.s when they were prisoners of the Germans in WWII. This act of bravery would have been forgotten and lost to history, had it not been for the rediscovery of Edmonds’ private diary, by his son, Chris Edmonds, a Tennessee pastor, and a providential encounter with one of the surviving Jewish American P.O.W.s. Pastor Chris set out to follow the footsteps of his father, discovering the truth about the brutality inflicted on captured Jewish American G.I.s, and searching for the men, and their families, who Roddie saved. Roddie Edmonds passed away in 1985 long before knowing the enormous impact of his bravery, and before knowing he would be the only American soldier ever recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations. Edmonds never spoke of his heroism to anyone. Now, through his own words, written in his own hand, his voice can be heard.
The longer documentary is being screened at film festivals, conferences, synagogues, schools, and churches across the United States and has received numerous awards including an Award of Excellence Special Mention by The Best Shorts Film Competition at the 2018 Academy Awards.