Actor/producer Kirk Cameron received a warm welcome at Liberty University Convocation on Friday — more than what he expected from the 10,000 students who weren’t even born when he starred as Mike Seaver on ABC’s “Growing Pains” in the 1980s.

But Cameron has perhaps left an even larger mark on culture than he did in the days he appeared on the covers of teen magazines. Students no doubt know him as the inspiration for “Fireproof,” the highest grossing independent film of 2008 that focused on the importance of Christian values in marriage, as a star in the “Left Behind” movies, created from the bestselling books by longtime Liberty supporter Tim LaHaye, and as producer of the new documentary, “Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure.”

Though Friday’s Convocation began with a fun surprise for Cameron on his first visit to Liberty — the Campus Praise Band sang the theme song to “Growing Pains” — he was serious in sharing his personal testimony as a “recovering atheist,” acknowledging Christ as his savior when he was 17 and then sticking to his convictions.

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