“The land itself was once a Confederate Army base, which meant there were people here fighting to keep my ancestors enslaved. From the moment I walked onto the property, I was haunted by it,” Perry said. “So, as we built each of the 12 soundstages, we buried Bibles underneath them, as a way of refocusing the spirit of the place. I wanted this to be a place where everyone was welcome.”
Perry hosted a church service during the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios in 2019, where he invited Bishop T.D. Jakes to give the sermon. The event was attended by Chris Tucker, Yolanda Adams, P Diddy, Oprah, and many other celebrities.
According to their website, Perry’s major motion picture studio is one of the largest in the country. It is the fourth expansion in Perry’s creative empire.
Perry said, “When you’ve been given a lot, you have to do a lot. And the need is great. I’ve tried to align myself with people who have the same sensibility when it comes to helping others.”
The actor has been a guest preacher at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, where he shared his testimony. During his visit, Perry told the congregation, “I was running from poverty, and failure wasn’t an option. I knew there was something higher for me, and I had to go with everything I had. I had to risk everything, I had to put everything on the line.”
“In order to get into the studio, you’ve got to drive through the gates. And to go through the gates, you’ve got to pass through the arms and the handle. Buried under that, when you’re going in and coming out, is the open word of God. I’ve buried the Bible at the gates of the studio. So you can’t come in without crossing the Word, and you can’t leave out without crossing the Word,” Perry said.