David A.R. White is a founding partner of the PureFlix, a Christian movie studio that produces, distributes, and acquires Christ centered movies for the sole purpose of changing our culture for Christ. His most recent film titled “God’s Not Dead” addresses a spiritual battle between college students and atheist professors. Long before he got his start in the entertainment industry, he faced difficult obstacles that challenged his faith. During a phone conversation with Christian Magazine Group, David gave insight about his journey through Hollywood.
How did you get your start as a Christian in the entertainment industry?
I moved to Los Angeles when I was 19. I grew up in a small town in Kansas. My entire family had gone to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. So my dad always said you have to go there at least a year to the bible school. When I got there, I went there for a year and felt like this isn’t for me.
I remember calling my dad and telling him I want to leave bible school and go to Hollywood to be an actor. There was some silence on the phone.
I grew up in a Mennonite home where I grew up not seeing any movies. I basically saw one movie in the theaters the first 18 years of my life. I didn’t sing, I didn’t dance, and we were very conservative. Instead of my dad rejecting my desires and my dreams even though he didn’t understand it, he said,
“As long as you follow the Lord we support you.”
Within 6 months I got really fortunate and I got a recurring role on a hit CBS show called Evening Shade. I got an opportunity to make a Christian film my second season. Every year following that I began to receive these offers to play in Christian films. Toward the end of the 90s, I began to produce Christian films.
How could Christians best support other Christians in the entertainment industry?
The Christian movie industry is exciting because there are so many films that are happening right now. The genre is growing and there are so many people involved in it.
It’s because Christians who support these movies, who find them valuable, and then they introduce them to the pastor so they could run them at their church.
It’s basically sharing them with your neighbors and your friends. Buying the DVD, supporting the industry however you can. When you do that, you’re casting a vote. You’re saying, “I want more of these.”