It seems strange that a man who used to yell “murda” on his tracks is starring in a movie as an ex-convict pastor, but Ja Rule is doing just that.

I’m in Love with a Church Girl, described as a “faith-based film,” stars Ja, Adrienne Bailon of Cheetah Girls fame, Stephen Baldwin, and music artist TobyMac.

According to, Church Girl was written by Pastor Galley Molina during his stint in prison. “In 1996, I was sentenced to five years in prison,” explained Molina. “During that time, even before I was arrested I was already attending church. It’s not like I went away and then found God. God and I were already having some time together. God used this; that’s why we tagline the movie ‘God sometimes uses extreme measures to deal with extreme circumstances.’”

Molina says studios wanted to make the movie center around gangs and violence, but he refused to glorify those aspects.

But why Ja Rule? “Ja Rule has been ministered to. He’s a dear friend. We’ve been praying for him a lot. He’s been open; he’s been so [receptive] to the word,” said Molina of the rapper.

I’m in Love with a Church Girl is slated for release in 2011.