Café Connections and BHS set to host presentation of ‘The Captive’

Movie focus Ashley Smith set to appear at Pickens First Baptist Church April 7

PICKENS — The Café Connections of Pickens and Behavioral Health Services of Pickens County will host a special persentation of the motion picture “The Captive” at Pickens First Baptist Church on April 5.

SmithThe film is a stirring movie from Paramount Pictures starring Kate Mara of “House of Cards” and “Fantastic Four” and David Oyelowo of “Selma.”

Because of the incredible interest, the movie will be shown in the Fellowship Hall of Pickens First Baptist Church, with showings at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The movie portrays the inspirational, news-making life story of Ashley Smith, a young female hostage who in 2005 single-handedly talked infamous Atlanta courthouse killer Brian Nichols into surrendering peacefully by gaining his confidence through her prayers and personal faith and by reading passages to him from the Christian bestseller “The Purpose-Driven Life.”

It is a thrilling drama about the spiritual collision of two broken lives. Nichols, on the run as the subject of a citywide manhunt and desperate to make contact with his newborn son, takes recovering meth addict Ashley Smith hostage in her own apartment. While reading aloud, Smith and her would-be killer each faced crossroads where despair and death intersected hope.

Contrasting the minute-by-minute tale of her experience with the tragedies and triumphs of her own life, “The Captive” is a riveting story that will leave no one untouched.

In March 2005, Smith made headlines around the globe when she miraculously talked her way out of the hands of the killer after he took her hostage for seven hours in her suburban Atlanta apartment. Smith continues to share the details of her traumatic ordeal and expands on how her faith and excerpts from “The Purpose-Driven Life” helped her survive and bring the killer’s murderous rampage to a peaceful end.

Like her captor, Smith too had faced darkness and despair. Seeking a new life, she moved to Atlanta, got a job, enrolled in a medical assistant training program, and was beginning to find her way to becoming the kind of mom she wanted her little girl to have. Then Nichols took her hostage. Just hours earlier, he’d allegedly shot to death a judge, a court reporter, a deputy and a federal agent and escaped in a stolen vehicle. Now she found herself face-to-face with Nichols, a desperate, heavily armed man with nothing left to lose.

Smith’s life changed dramatically on that fateful day of March 11, 2005, when Nichols forced his way into her apartment. After offering Nichols her remaining stash of methamphetamines, she brought out her copy of Rick Warren’s “The Purpose-Driven Life.” During her seven hours as Nichols’ hostage, her life story and Warren’s direction from the book persuaded Nichols to consider how God could use him if he surrendered. He did so the following morning.

Nichols himself called Smith “an angel sent from God,” but ironically, it was her own less-than-angelic past that convinced him to face justice. Smith believes God led her through the highly publicized experience to help “unlikely angels” everywhere find hope.

Afterwards she wrote her best-selling book, “Unlikely Angel – The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Hostage Hero,” donating proceeds to a memorial fund honoring the victims of the Atlanta courthouse tragedy. She returned to the familiar embrace of her family and her daughter, Paige. Smith’s familiar face reaches seekers from all walks of life, and her authentic, quietly courageous testimony exemplifies a genuine, guiding faith.

Smith will also appear in person on Thursday, April 7, at 6 p.m. at Pickens First Baptist Fellowship Hall to share her story and testimony. The event is suitable for ages 13 and older, with parental supervision.

For more information, contact Ann Corbin at the Café Connections by email at or by phone at (864) 201-1772.