PRESS RELEASE: Christians Set Sail on Titanic Anniversary to Honor Titanic’s ‘Women and Children First’ Legacy
BRANSON, MO — April 16, 2012
During a showboat gala hosted aboard the Branson Belle late last Saturday, just under 600 Christians observed the precise moments Titanic struck an iceberg and sank 100 years ago. The evening cruise on Branson’s Table Rock Lake was the capstone of Titanic 100: An International Centennial Event, a four-day commemoration hosted April 12-15 that honored the “women and children first” legacy of Titanic, as men and boys willingly gave their lives for women and children when the great ocean liner foundered and sank on April 14-15, 1912. It was the largest, distinctively Christian, multi-day Titanic memorial event in the world, and the only one of its kind specifically dedicated to furthering the principle of “women and children first.”
“We gathered to honor the heroes of the Titanic and remind the world that the principle of ‘women and children first’ must be kept alive and well,” said Doug Phillips, President of Vision Forum Ministries and Founder of the Christian Boys’ and Men’s Titanic Society. “The doctrine of ‘women and children first’ is Christian in its origin. It is the application of the principle of self-sacrifice embodied by Jesus Christ who gave his life for His bride, the Church.”
The Gala Banquet and Celebration aboard the Branson Belle featured stirring speeches and poem recitations which celebrated the sacrifice of the men who perished to save women and children, as well as poignant commentary from dozens of Titanic reenaactors who portrayed the passengers and crew of Titanic — those who lived and died — sharing their memories of the ship’s demise.
The gala also featured musical performances of Titanic-era tunes by an eclectic cast of singers and musicians, including Irish jigs from Patty and the Boilermakers; popular vintage anthems such as “Come Josephine in My Flying Machine” by the San Antonio Darlings; various songs of the sea by maritime balladeer, Charlie Zahm; as well as Titanic tributes such as “Nearer My God to Thee” performed by other distinguished soloists.
“Christians from across the United States and Canada spent weeks preparing to come to the Titanic 100 and leave a historic record of gratitude on the centennial, one marked by reenactmnents, songs, poetry, and more. It was simply awe-inspiring to watch the passion for this subject matter shared by so many,” remarked Phillips.
Sponsored by Vision Forum Ministries and the Christian Boy’s and Men’s Titanic Society, Titanic 100 honored the Christian doctrine of “women and children first” that was displayed in the midst of Titanic’s tragic sinking. The event featured a wide range of activities for the whole family, including a live play and musical performances at Branson’s Lawrence Welk Theatre, an Edwardian Ladies Tea hosted on the Chateau on the Lake, exclusive tours of Branson’s Titanic Museum, a special film screening of A Night to Remember, and the opportunity to engage with more than 80 Titanic reenactors who portrayed the passengers and crew of Titanic. The grand finale was a Gala Banquet and Celebration aboard the Showboat Branson Belle.
“For three days, the families participating in the Titanic 100 went back in time to understand the lessons and legacies of the ship that many believed was practically unsinkable. Every part of this experience was presented in the context of a distinctively Christian worldview,” Phillips stated. “In my view, that is the only way to understand the significance of Titanic and its relevance to the modern world. Without Christ and His providential control of all events, this is just a fascinating tragedy.”
Doug Phillips founded the Christian Boy’s and Men’s Titanic Society in 1997, and each year the society hosts a gathering on the anniversary of Titanic’s sinking to commemorate the legacy of male chivalry demonstrated on board the ship when the great ocean liner foundered.
“Titanic’s sinking marked the darkest and brightest night in maritime history,” commented Phillips. “Though more than 1,500 people died in this international tragedy, the Darwinian notion of the ‘survival of the fittest’ was rejected in favor of the age-old Christian doctrine that the ‘strong sacrifice for the weak.’
“No event in modern history has done more to remind the world of this important bedrock of Western culture, and we were privileged to showcase this legacy in Branson at the Titanic 100.”
To learn more about the Titanic 100, visit the website.
To interview Doug Phillips about the Titanic 100 Celebration, contact Wesley Strackbein by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (210) 340-5250, ext. 222.