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Kansas City First Church and MNU Partner to Sponsor Bresee Film

They are providing disaster relief in West Virginia, planting a church in Louisburg, Kansas and now partnering with MNU for a historical film. Rev. Brad Estep, lead pastor of Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene, presented MNU President David Spittal with a gift of $16,500 on July 28, to contribute toward the production of a film on the life of Phineas Bresee, a co-founder of The Church of the Nazarene in the western U.S. The funds are part of an estate gift given to KC First Church. Estep says the church is distributing the gift to a number of important projects.

"Phineas Bresee: A Large Souled Man,” scheduled for release in summer 2017, at The Church of the Nazarene General Assembly, is being produced by Inversion, a Kansas City-based creative production company. The film about the life and ministry of the first general superintendent of the united church will chronicle this shaper of Nazarene identity and highlight Bresee's commitment to holiness and concern for the poor and marginalized.

“Bresee can teach us some things about the message of holiness and ministry to the broken of this world,” Estep says.

Spittal agrees adding that the film should become an important teaching tool on Nazarene university campuses.

“Today’s students may not realize the roots of the Nazarenes do not look like the suburban churches we see today. Long before it became a generational cry to give of oneself in service, the Church of the Nazarene was ministering alongside the downtrodden,” Spittal says. “This is really how the church started.”

Bryon McLaughlin, editor of Grace and Peace magazine, says the film is part of a larger initiative of the denomination to introduce to some and reintroduce to others, a significant founder of the church.

“There’s a relationship between memory and mission,” McLaughlin says. “When we know where we come from it helps us understand our mission.”

McLaughlin says the 45-to-50-minute film will be made available to every Nazarene church in the USA and Canada. He hopes its distribution will become global.

“We hope when people see the film they will think, ‘if that’s what he [Bresee] was about, I’d love to be a part of that church, The Church of the Nazarene.’”

MNU will distribute the gift from Kansas City First Church to the filmmakers and as such will be a significant contributor to the project. Readers can view a clip of the film here.


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