When Choosing Faith Means Choosing Death

Rachel grew up in a devout Christian home in Denver, Colorado.  She was the third of five children born to Darrell Scott and Beth Nimmo.  (Her parents separated in 1989 but maintained a cordial relationship with one another.)  Darrell was a former pastor at a church in Lakewood Colorado.  Beth was a homemaker. In 1993, Rachel went to church with her aunt and uncle and committed her life to Christ. Beth relocated her home to Littleton where Rachel was a student at Columbine High School in 1995.  Rachel got her first journal in 1993 and began writing.  After her death, the contents of her multiple diaries were discovered.  The entries shared her experiences with friends but much of it was devoted to the joys of her life and spreading the message of Christ.  Many of the writings were addressed to God.  When she died, Rachel had one of her journals with her in which a bullet was found lodged.  On the cover was “I won’t be labeled as average,” and “I write not for the sake of glory. Not for the sake of fame.  Not for the sake of success. But for the sake of my soul.”  In other writings, she expressed her desire to reach others and even wrote a prayer for one of the gunmen (both of the shooters were known to have shunned and ridiculed Rachel for her faith).  
Rachel was eating lunch with her friend, Richard Castaldo, on the lawn outside the west entrance of the school on that fateful day.  The gunmen approached them and fired shots.  Rachel was hit three times and tried to crawl to safety.  Richard was shot eight times and pretended to be dead.  He was permanently paralyzed from his injuries.  According to several sources, one of the shooters approached Rachel, lifted her head by her hair and asked if she believed in God.  She said, “You know I do.” The shooter said, “Well, go be with Him” and shot Rachel in the temple.  In total, the gunmen killed 12 other people and injured 24 more.  The shooters committed suicide after their rampage. Rachel’s car was still in the school parking lot after the massacre which was covered in flowers by grieving students.  Rachel was laid to rest on April 24.  Her funeral was televised worldwide and viewed by millions, even surpassing the number of viewers for Princess Diana’s funeral.  

On the one year anniversary of her death, Beth published a book, Rachel’s Tears, which focused on Rachel’s faith, her inspirational journal entries and the impact of her loss on their lives.  Subsequently, Beth published one more book with the hope that those who didn’t know Rachel would find inspiration in how she lived her life.  “The Lord put it in my heart that I was do to a movie.  It became clear when we read Rachel’s writings that God had been doing a deep intimate work in Rachel’s heart,” says Beth.  “He prepared her for a day of reckoning.”  One of the things Rachel did on the morning of the shooting was draw her eyes with 13 weeping tears.  “She was a tear drop in her own drawing.”  Two weeks prior to the shooting, Rachel wrote, “I’m drowning in my own lake of despair… it isn’t suicide; I consider it homicide. The world you have created has led to my death.”  “She was very prophetic,” says Beth.

Beth says they had been approached several times to do a movie based on Rachel’s life.  She says every time she shared the story of Rachel’s life, people were powerfully moved by what God had been doing in Rachel’s heart.  More than 22 million people have been touched by her story in live event presentations. “I knew nothing about movies,” Beth says.  “I knew God would lead me to the right people.”  God was faithful and led Beth to Benny Proffitt, Founder of First Priority of America and First Priority Global.  According to Beth, there were a lot of rewrites on the script but that the director, Brian Baugh, worked hard to understand the heart of Rachel.  “He took her writings and drawings and wove a story around that,” says Beth.  “We had fasted and prayed on site every day.  It was a holy project and we handled it with great care.” The movie, which stars Korie and Sadie Robertson, newcomer Masey McLain (as Rachel), Ben Davies (Courageous), Jennifer O’Neill and Jaci Velasquez (Let the Lion Roar) opens in theaters in October 21st.


Contact Beth Nimmo at rjsm@icloud.me.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Rachel Scott’s mother (Rachel was killed in the April 20, 1999 school shooting)

Executive Producer, I’m Not Ashamed, Visible Pictures, Big Film Factory 2016

Mom to 5 children: Bethanee, Dana, Rachel, Craig and Mike


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