• Thomas Bonifield

Earlier Failure Helped Turn Ashley Bratcher to the Lord

The Christian actress opens up about how God used adversity in her career to bring her to Him.

Ashley Bratcher in a scene from "Unplanned." Image: Soli Deo Gloria.

Ashley Bratcher shot to prominence last year, when she played the lead role in the Christian pro-life film Unplanned, which is based on the memoir by Abby Johnson, a former abortion clinic director who became a vocal right-to-life advocate. She has since acted in an episode of Pure Flix series The Encounter and in the pilot of Washington's Armor, a faith-based mini-series about the early life of George Washington.


But she has also experienced lows in her career, particularly at the start. Though Bratcher did not view acting as a viable profession - she majored in graphic design - she did take an acting class her senior year in college. Then the North Carolina native happened upon an open audition at the state fair, gave it a shot and won a role in local TV commercial.


It was a whirlwind from there, because she then landed an agent, took a trip to New York City for more auditions and secured a manager there as well. Once she graduated, she moved off to the Big Apple to launch her acting career. Alas, as she tells The Pure Flix Podcast, it proved to be an eight month stint of frustration and failure.

"I was trying to place my self-worth in the opinion of other people, if I was working or whatnot. I didn't have that deep-rooted sense of faith and who I was...I was in all kinds of trouble, to be honest, and it wiped me out."

Like many aspiring actors, she headed home, her dreams of success in the business in tatters. But the Lord, as he often does in moments of our despair, stepped into the breach. Though Bratcher had considered herself a Christian as a teen, she now became serious about her faith.

"I came back from New York, kind of got my life together and the Lord put His hands on me and I found Jesus. And I gave my career to God in 2012, and that was when I really started working in North Carolina."

Bratcher adds that she decided she wanted to use the gifts God had given her for his glory and "all of it came together from there." And are we ever glad, because she is quite a talent as well as a powerful spokesperson, having become a champion of both unborn babies and their mothers: after the success of Unplanned, she set up a scholarship for young women who choose life instead of abortion, as we wrote here.


Christian Film Blog recommends you listen to Bratcher's entire interview on The Pure Flix Podcast, because she has much to say, including about how she sets boundaries on the kinds of roles she'll play and the way she balances her personal and professional lives. It runs under 20 minutes and you can find it via this link to the Pure Flix website.

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