GWU to Share Faith Journey of War Prisoner, Olympian

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Documentary to Feature Louis Zamperini’s Story During Dimensions on Nov. 10

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—A documentary chronicling the faith journey of a World War II prisoner and U.S. Olympian Louis Zamperini will be featured at Gardner-Webb University’s Dimensions program on Nov. 10. The event begins at 9:25 a.m. in Stewart Hall of the Tucker Student Center on campus and is free and open to the public.

The story of Louis Zamperini was the focus of “Unbroken,” a best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand and a recent movie directed by Oscar winner Angelina Jolie. After competing for the United States in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, Zamperini enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and served as a lieutenant. During a rescue mission, his aircraft experienced mechanical problems and crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

After 47 days at sea, Zamperini arrived at the Marshall Islands, which were occupied at the time by the Japanese. He was tortured and endured life-testing hardships for more than two years in multiple prison camps until the war ended. The documentary, “Louis Zamperini: Captured by Grace,” tells the story of his Christian experience after the military, including his service as a Christian evangelist.

“The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association does a marvelous job producing videos and documentaries on a wide variety of topics,” shared Dr. Tracy Jessup, vice president of the GWU Office of Christian Life and Service and senior minister to the University. “In recent years, we have shown ‘The Cross’ and ‘Lose to Gain.’ ‘Louis Zamperini: Captured by Grace’ picks up where ‘Unbroken’ ends, focusing on Zamperini’s life after World War II, including the decision he made to follow Christ at Billy Graham’s 1949 Los Angeles Crusade.”

More information about Gardner-Webb’s Dimensions program is available at

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704-406-4264 or email with your request.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).