Pure Flix Founder Went to Movies Just Once as Boy
But God put a dream in his heart and now he is a leading figure in Christian film.
If you're a fan of faith-based films, then you likely know David A.R. White as an actor. His on-screen credits stretch back nearly 30 years and, in addition to starring on the current Pure Flix sitcom Malibu Dan the Family Man, he played in all three movies in the God's not Dead franchise.
What you might not know, however, is that he is one of the co-founders of Pure Flix. That Arizona-based film production and distribution company is one of the big boys in the Christian and family-friendly entertainment space, regularly making its own content and putting that - and other people's films - in theaters across the country.
White, though, is about as unlikely a film executive as one could imagine. He grew up a Kansas farm boy in a devout Mennonite family with a pastor for a father, and tells Pure Flix Talk that by age 18 he had only been to the movie theater once because, "Mennonites don't see movies." But he had a dream of being in the entertainment industry and God opened doors for him.
White moved to California and by 19 had landed a gig on the Burt Reynolds hit sitcom Evening Shade. Rich Christiano, a veteran director in the faith-based genre, then cast him in a couple of his pictures. White still credits Christiano for helping launch him - and fellow Christian actor/producer Kevin Downes - in the genre.
"Out of that, I just wanted to be in the Christian films, because I love the Lord, I love the message."
And his desire to spread the Good News prompted him to co-found Pure Flix in 2005 so other Believers could glorify the Lord by using their gifts as filmmakers. White points to the God's not Dead movies as a high-water mark in that regard, but doesn't take the credit for the films' impact.
"It's not about us...That's the Holy Spirit working through those. He says, 'My word will not come back void,' right? So that's God doing that."
Well said, David A.R. White! He has much else to say in the interview that is worth hearing, so we recommend you watch it in its entirety at PureFlix.com.