Tyler Kern. Photo courtesy of Amelia Kern
Those years also contained a difficult journey with the church and God. He left the Seventh-day Adventist Church at a young age and struggled as his family split apart. A turning point came when his stepfather was diagnosed with colon cancer. The news devastated Tyler, leading him to voice frustration in the question, “Why did this have to happen to you?”
Tyler’s stepfather replied, “Why not me? I lived a good life. I have a great relationship with God. I’d rather let someone else have more time to find that.” The response deeply moved Tyler and began a spiritual transformation in his life, leading him back to the church and setting him on an entirely new path.
A few years later, Tyler found himself unexpectedly called to study in the seminary at Andrews University. Although he had spent time pursuing his passion for filmmaking, he found himself continually brought back to God. He and his family moved to Berrien Springs and initially faced money, housing and timing challenges, but the Lord provided in unexpected and wonderful ways. Tyler emphasizes, “It’s been amazing how God has continued to show me He will provide if I just trust and follow His lead.”
After three years in the Seminary, Tyler is on track to graduate with a Master of Divinity and has big plans for the future. Combining his love of filmmaking with his drive to share God’s message, he founded a film company called 7th Day Films. The business recently won first place at the Andrews University Pitch Competition and was awarded $9,000 toward its vision.
Tyler strives to make movies that are grounded in God’s love and are unafraid to address difficult topics. “I have a heart for the younger generations,” he says. His vision is to “make films for everyone while remaining faithful to SDA doctrines.” The first film in the works is a historical documentary, and Tyler hopes, someday, to produce a personal biopic titled “Why Not Me?”, inspired by his stepfather’s words and based on his own life journey.
As he explores this new platform and chapter in life, Tyler is embracing his faith. He looks forward to the future, reflecting, “I’ve learned to stop doing it my way and to lean into the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life. That means trusting God in every step of the process.”
Isabella Koh, University Communication student writer