The life of A.R. White

Kathie Bell
Special to the Globe
Actor/producer/director David "A.R." Andrew Roy White was born in Dodge City and went on to co-create PureFlix, a faith and family production company. SUBMITTED PHOTO

He was born in Dodge City to Mennonite pastors. He went on to the glitzy glamour of Hollywood.

Ironically, he saw only one movie before the age of 18. He was eight when he snuck off to a Dodge City theater.

David "A.R." Andrew Roy White was born on May 12, 1970 and was raised in Meade. Television was not a big part of his life. And movies were forbidden.

However, he produced a play as a senior in high school. That is when he caught the acting bug. Following in the footsteps of family members, after graduating high school in 1988, he attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a year.

But during that year he felt an unrelenting urge to leave the Midwest for the bright lights of Hollywood to pursue a career in acting. After that year in Chicago, he nervously called his pastor father to inform him of his plans to relocate to California.

Surprisingly, his father gave him his blessings. A.R. moved to Venice Beach and roomed with a family.

Fortunately, it took only a short time to land a TV job on "Evening Shade" starring Burt Reynolds. He played Andrew Philipott the best friend of Reynolds son in eight episodes from 1990 to 1994. Incidentally, Boot Hill Museum made Reynolds an Honorary Marshal in 2015.

White appeared as a guest star in numerous TV shows including "Coach," "Saved by the Bell," "Sisters" and "Melrose Place." As White moved from youthful roles to adult roles, people found out about his strong Christian faith, and he found a niche in Christian based productions.

From then on, he became best known for his work in Bible based movies. His first starring role was in 1992 in the Christian drama motion picture "Second Chance." He also was in many films such as "The Visitation;" "Bells of Innocence," with actor Chuck Norris; "Six: The Mark Unleashed;" and "Mercy Streets," for which The Movie Guild Awards nominated him for best actor.

White began producing films as early as 1998, first as an associate producer in "End of the Harvest," where he also played Matt; then as producer for "The Moment After" in 1999 where he had the role of Adam Riley.

In 2005, he along with Michael Scott, Russell Wolfe and Elizabeth Travis, founded the Christian production company Pure Flix. It is the world's largest such company and has produced over 100 Christian movies.

He began directing movies in 2010, the first of which was "The Encounter." It was followed by "Holyman Undercover" where he starred along with Fred Willard. White's most successful movie is the 2014 "God's Not Dead" which grossed $64 million with a budget of only $2 million.

It was based on Rice Broocks' book "God's Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty." White played Reverend Dave.

In 2016, this film was followed by "God's Not Dead 2" where Reverend Dave's part was expanded. A second sequel came out in 2018; "God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness."

The sequels were produced by White. A.R. wrote a book about his experiences titled "Between Heaven and Hollywood: Chasing Your God-Given Dream."

White is recently divorced from fellow actor and producer, Andrea Logan White who he married in 2003.

Together they have three children, son Ethan and daughters Everson and Ocean.