The Story of the Studio that Brought You God’s Not Dead
Christian movie fans have lost one of the great pioneers of the recent Christian film movement. Russell Wolfe, one of the three founders of Pure Flix left to be with Jesus following a struggle with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). While he has gone on to better things, he will be profoundly missed by those at Pure Flix and all who love Christian movies.
Russell, Mike Scott, and David A.R. White founded Pure Flix in 2005. In an August 2014 Interview with Jo Rivera, of Girls on a Mission, Russell spoke of how he got into Christian movies, and how God has blessed the ministry.
“Mike Scott and I, and his Dad, used to go on mission trips to Malaysia. We’d go deep into the jungles [to] take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We went in where tribes were and helped out and prayed with them, and we were preaching. On the way back from one of those trips, I was sitting next to Mike Scott’s brother, Tim Scott, when we started discussing a mission trip where we’d continue to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. That conversation ended up turning into a TV show called TRAIL OF THE ROAD. We saw the success of that: how it impacted people’s lives; how they were touched and inspired. From that, we thought, what if we could do that with feature films.
“Mike Scott and I got together with Dave White in California, and then the three of us put together the company Pure Flix. We just went out with the dream and the idea of impacting the culture for Christ. We thought media was the most powerful method to get that message out there. Many people have tried it in the past. It’s a difficult thing to do. Not that we’re that great, it’s just that we’ve been blessed in the way that we put it together.
“The fast pace our culture is moving and the direction it’s moving, we feel that this is a way we can help people stay grounded.
“When you get people together in a room to see a movie, they’re in a dark room looking at that screen, and for that time period they’ll let that movie take them places they wouldn’t even allow their best friend to take them. And, that can be for good or bad. We’re hoping to use that time to impact their lives in a positive way with stories of redemption. We want to build them up in their faith and keep them strong as they go through their daily lives.
“I believe there’s a hunger for the vision of Pure Flix and the need for it as well. We need to be equipped to handle the onslaught of what we’re facing on a daily basis.
“What we tried to do with GOD’S NOT DEAD is to say, ‘You don’t have to check your brain at the door in order to be a Christian.’ What it’s done is provide confidence. You can see it in the audience. By the time they leave they say, “Yes, that’s why we believe.”
“We started Pure Flix back in 2005 with the idea of getting a consistent flow of product to this market. So they would have a different entertainment option. We have about 80 films in our library, some of which you can see on Netflix, but mostly on DVD, and they’re on some of the networks as well. The idea was to provide people with this content. If they want to see a different movie every month they wouldn’t have to look to the mainstream. They can find a Pure Flix movie that would encourage them, build them up in their faith, in their walk, and help them to stay steady as they go forward.”
Russell starred in 17 movies, was producer on 23, and a writer on three. In GOD’S NOT DEAD, he played Dr. Stevens, who diagnosed the reporter Amy (Trisha LaFarche).
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