Hello and welcome back to the “Church of Christ Celebrities” blog! Maybe you’ve been reading along with us since the beginning, or perhaps this is your first time here; either way, please feel free to like and share the blog with your friends and to offer any feedback or topic suggestions you might have via the Contact page. (Lest you think that I don’t read your responses, let it be known that the subject of this particular post was suggested by a reader using that very page!)
Today’s entry is a bit of a nostalgia trip for me, and if you grew up in the 1990s like I did, it might be one for you, too. We are looking into the religious affiliation of animator Jim Jinkins (1953-), best known as the creator of the Nickelodeon (later Disney) show Doug, among numerous other programs–shows such as the 101 Dalmatians animated series, PB&J Otter, Stanley, and HoopDogz. Jinkins has clearly had a successful professional career, but despite the incredible popularity of his programs, audiences are likely less than familiar with his personal life. So, is there anything to the notion that Jinkins might be a member of Churches of Christ?
Based on his more recent animated work, it is readily apparent that Jinkins is religiously minded. Several HoopDogz episodes, according to one source, are explicitly geared around the Ten Commandments, and the show’s characters include a pair of TV hosts whose show-within-a-show resembles programming on Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN). (1) Too, a commenter on the PreacherMike blog notes that “when I was preaching at Wallingford, CT, Jim came over from Stamford and did a Sunday evening talk about his life as a Christian in the entertainment biz. He brought sections of film (actual pieces of film) and animation stills from ‘Doug’ and autographed them for everyone.” (2)
Jinkins, we should also note, is a graduate of Lipscomb University, a Nashville-area school associated with Churches of Christ, (3) and he was lauded as alumnus of the year by the university in 1999. (4)
Most tellingly, however, the Christian Chronicle–a Churches of Christ newspaper–identified Jinkins as a “church member” in a 2010 mission report roundup after the animator had spoken at a benefit dinner for a Mexican children’s ministry hosted by the East Cobb Church of Christ in Georgia. (5)
Based on all of the above sources, then, it seems that our third entry of 2018, like the first two, is CONFIRMED. Check back in two weeks’ time and see if the streak continues!
(1) Cliff Vaughn, “Producers of ‘Doug,’ ‘Stanley’ Create ‘HoopDogz’ to Teach Commandments,” EthicsDaily.com, October 12, 2004, accessed January 11, 2018, http://www.ethicsdaily.com/producers-of-doug-stanley-create-hoopdogz-to-teach-commandments-cms-4834 .
(2) Frank B, comment on Mike, “Salt and Light,” PreacherMike, April 1, 2006, accessed January 11, 2018, http://preachermike.com/2006/04/01/fair-balanced .
(3) “Lipscomb University Alum Jim Jinkins Creates New Children’s Series–HoopDogz,” Lipscomb University, November 5, 2004, accessed January 11, 2018, https://www.lipscomb.edu/academics/filter/item/0/6811 .
(4) “‘Disney’s Doug’ Creator Jim Jinkins Named Alumnus of the Year By Lipscomb University,” PR Newswire, November 15, 1999, accessed January 11, 2018, https://www.thefreelibrary.com/%27Disney%27s+Doug%27+Creator+Jim+Jinkins+Named+Alumnus+of+the+Year+By…-a057559258 .
(5) “Partners, November 2010,” Christian Chronicle, November 1, 2010, accessed January 11, 2018, https://christianchronicle.org/partners-november-2010/ .