Dr. Bob Jones, Jr., president of the university since its renaming from Bob Jones College in 1947, pointed out, "An angel is a messenger and our films are films with a message." 28
The first two productions of Unusual Films, released in 1951, were Light of the World, an "illustrated sermon" based on a popular message frequently preached by Bob Jones, Sr., and a feature-length production, shot in color, of Shakespeare Macbeth.
A number of illustrative sermon films were produced in the early years, but it quickly became apparent that the university's background in classical theatre made Unusual Films best suited to the production of dramatic films. Wine of Morning, released in 1954 and based on the life of Barabbas, was a two-hour drama that became immediately successful within the conservative Christian community and set the tone for future productions. It also led to the university's offering Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in film production. Unusual Films and Dr. Stenholm were founding members of the University Film Producers Association (now the University Film and Video Association); through the efforts of that organization, Wine of Morning was selected to represent the United States at a special university division of the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.
Later Unusual Films productions include Red Runs the River ( 1963), Flame in the Wind ( 1971), Sheffey ( 1978), Beyond the Night ( 1983), and The Printing ( 1990). The large-scale nature of these productions is primarily due to the support services provided by Bob Jones University, including the participation of students and faculty as performers, catering by the University Dining Common, and recording by the University Orchestra of scores provided by the music faculty. With the exception of laboratory work, every aspect of production, from script to screen, is handled in- house, with the films intended as a ministry rather than for profit.
America's best regarded evangelist Billy Graham was a student at Bob Jones College for four months in 1936-1937; he left because he was more interested in baseball than in the school's academic teachings. In 1951, Graham founded Billy Graham Evangelistic Films, Inc., which produced documentaries of Graham's crusades and fictional evangelical subjects under the direction of Richard Ross. The company name was changed to World Wide Pictures in 1957, at which time it was merged with Ross' Great Commission Film Company.