"God's Not Dead" actor and filmmaker David A.R. White has shared his prayer for the third installment of the popular film franchise and discussed how the success of his production company, Pure Flix Entertainment, demonstrates God's faithfulness.
During a recent interview with The Gospel Herald, White revealed that "a lot of prayer" has gone into creating "God's Not Dead 3", which is currently in the works.
"Throughout the process, we've prayed for what it is that God wants us to do through this franchise, and what's that next step," the 46-year-old actor told GH. "Our prayer for ‘God's Not Dead 3' is that the Lord continues to guide us through each and every step that we take. We pray that we're not doing it for our own agenda or what we're passionate about, but ultimately, what the Lord wants for these films and what the Lord wants for Pure Flix and what He wants Pure Flix to do."
Pure Flix, the largest indie-faith film studio in the world, released the first installment of the "God's Not Dead" franchise in 2014. Despite having a budget of just $2 million, the faith-based film shocked Hollywood by earning $8.6 million from just 780 theaters in its first weekend of release. Overall, the film grossed a staggering $60 million, making it the fifth most profitable movie in cinema history based on its return on investment (ROI). The film was followed by a second installment in 2016 starring White, Melissa Joan Hart, and Sadie Robertson.
However, success didn't come easily. White, who recently penned a memoir, "Between Heaven and Hollywood: Chasing Your God-Given Dream," shared how, after co-founding Pure Flix in 2005, he struggled financially for years.
"It took us a long time to get to this point," he recalled. "We were around for a number of years before ‘God's Not Dead' happened. We struggled for year two and three, we went without a salary for almost two years. I learned that my wife really did love me in the process of having to sell off everything we owned. It was a tough deal; to keep things going wasn't always easy."
White has also received a fair amount of backlash for his Christian films from the secular media. Earlier this year, a billboard promoting "God's Not Dead 2" bearing the phrase, "I'd rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God" was famously banned for being "too political" and "way too incendiary".
"It's an interesting thing, because a lot of times when people have success of some sort, then they think life is going to be easy," White said with a chuckle. "But with that, with the success, all the sudden comes a new set of challenges and struggles and things that happen."
Reflecting on the ups and downs of his career, White said that he's confident of one thing: God is faithful - even in the bleakest of circumstances. And whatever the future holds, the actor said that his primary goal is to glorify God in everything he does and walk in obedience before Him.
"When you think about the doors that open up and what one can accomplish, it always comes back to me that God is faithful," White said. "No matter what life throws at you, God will work out all things for those who love Him. God has your back, He is for you, and He will not let you go."