The History Behind Christian History
Christian History began ten years ago in the mind of Dr. A. Kenneth Curtis. Ken is president of Gateway Films, a Christian film company he founded more than twenty years ago, and chairman of its companion, Vision Video, Inc. His films have garnered more than 30 awards, including an international Emmy.
Ken earned his Ph.D. in communications from Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has received an honorary doctorate from another alma mater, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Ken continues as senior editor for Christian History and serves on the board of Christianity Today, Inc. He also publishes Glimpses, a lively church-bulletin insert about church history. He recently became a grandfather.
Editors Kevin Miller and Mark Galli joined Ken in his office—a converted barn in the gently rolling hills of eastern Pennsylvania—to get the story on Christian History's early days.
Christian History: Where did you get the idea to start this magazine?
Ken Curtis: Our fledging film company had just put out a film on John Hus, the Bohemian reformer. I had an opportunity to show it at a Christian Film Distributors Association meeting. As I was introducing the film, I asked, "How many of you know who John Hus was?" Out of several hundred people, about three hands went up.
I was surprised, but not nearly as much as later, when I was about to show the film to a group of pastors. Again I asked, "How many of you know who John Hus was?" Only half the group had even heard of him.
I realized that we contemporary Christians have little idea where we came from. Lay people are nearly totally unaware of our past, and ministers receive only a semester or two of church history—hardly enough to get a good grasp of ...