Pastor Troy Schmidt writes of the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 in his latest book.
When Troy Schmidt was in middle school, one of his teachers tasked the class with an assignment to write about anything they wanted on a sheet of paper. The task befuddled many of his fellow classmates; they had no idea what to write about. By the time some students figured out what to write, Schmidt already had filled up a couple of sheets.
“Everybody in the class freaked out, and they went, ‘What are we supposed to write?’” Schmidt said. “Should it be a poem? An essay? And she was like, ‘No, no just write whatever you want.’ So by the time they were writing something, I was on page two. I said to my teacher at the end of that year that one day I’m going to have a book come out. I’m going to write it, and I’m going to see my name on the spine.”
Today, Schmidt’s name can be seen on the spines of numerous books. His latest, “Fish Sandwiches: The Delight of Receiving God’s Promises,” was released April 2 and can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook.com and locally at Fit Books in Ocoee.
Born in Cleveland, Schmidt, 56, has lived in Windermere since 1992. He is the campus pastor of the First Baptist Church Windermere and the author of numerous Christian books. He’s written Christian trivia books, joke books, children’s books, devotionals, Bible summaries and more. But “Fish Sandwiches” is a unique milestone in Schmidt’s career — it is his first original work.
“If you look on my Amazon page, you’ll see that there’s a number of different books that I’ve written, but some of them I was contracted out to write them,” Schmidt said. “The dream was to (have my own) book that is an adult inspirational (book). … This book, ‘Fish Sandwiches,’ is, really for me, that fulfillment or that dream to write that type of book.”
In his latest book, Schmidt discusses the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. He was inspired to write about it because he couldn’t find any book that discussed it.
“I was always fascinated by the fact that there are only two miracles that appeared in all four gospels,” Schmidt said. “With Easter coming up, of course, the most important (miracle was) the resurrection. That one (miracle) is instrumental in all four (gospels). … When I heard there was one other (miracle) that appeared in all of them, I was like, ‘I wonder what that one is?’ And it’s the feeding of the 5,000.
“This is a really important miracle,” he said. “I’m sure some writer out there has tackled that in one of his books or her books and the whole book is about that feeding because we’ve got books about the resurrection. Certainly, we have books about the second greatest miracle of the gospels. And the answer was no. I never ran across (a book about it).”
The son of a TV news director, Schmidt spent much of his time growing up in a news studio. Before he wrote books, he began his career writing in the television and animation industry. After graduating from the University of Georgia, he moved to Los Angeles to work in the television industry.
“My friends moved out to Los Angeles and said, ‘Hey, we’re working in TV shows — why don’t you come join us?’” Schmidt said. “My parents bought me a one-way ticket, and I moved out. It was great. It was a lot of fun. I worked on a lot of different shows — sometimes as a production assistant, sometimes as a researcher. Eventually, I started to get writing jobs.”
Schmidt eventually landed in the Orlando area. During the early 1990s, he was asked to do some writing for Disney Channel.
“While I was working at the Disney Channel as an assistant in program development, there was this show that they were shooting in Orlando and they wanted writers for it, so I submitted some material,” Schmidt said. “They liked my stuff and said, ‘Would you like to come out and write for ‘The Mickey Mouse Club?’ So I said, ‘Sure.’’’
Schmidt said he originally did not think he would be staying in the area long. He thought he would spend a few months in Orlando to write for “The Mickey Mouse Club” and then move back to LA. He’s still here — 26 years later.
“I came out here just thinking I’d be out here for a little bit,” Schmidt said. “(I) worked on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club,’ and it ended up being (for) three seasons. We ended up kind of planting our roots here.”
Schmidt wrote for “The Mickey Mouse Club” from 1992 to 1994. The time he was with the show is when stars such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling were brought on. In addition to “The Mickey Mouse Club,” Schmidt worked on shows such as “Dennis the Menace,” “Flintstone Kids,” “Hermie and Friends,” “The American Bible Challenge.”