LDS director releases trailer for ‘The Fighting Preacher’

"The Fighting Preacher," directed by T.C. Christensen (inset), stars David McConnell (left) as former boxer and LDS missionary Willard Bean. Photos: Facebook, trailer screenshot

UTAH, April 2, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Filmmaker T.C. Christensen, who specializes in films for a Latter-day Saint audience, has released the trailer for his latest production.

“The Fighting Preacher” retells the story of Willard Bean, the 1905 World middleweight boxing champion, who in 1915 was called by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to re-establish a presence in the Palmyra, New York, area, an area hostile to the LDS Church.

Bean and his bride were to live in Manchester, where the Church had acquired the home of Joseph Smith, Sr., an article at states.

In order to break the ice, Bean offered to put on a boxing exhibition, the article says.

“A ring was constructed in the old opera house in the middle of town, and the unabashed fighter-preacher challenged anybody in the community to get in the ring with him.”

Seven local men quickly lost their matches, one by knockout, before the eighth changed his mind and left.

The newly released trailer suggests that Bean later changed his strategies to a kinder, gentler approach, and found greater success in his community.

And, despite strong local opposition to his faith, Bean was able to purchase land important to the LDS Church and its history.

Christensen is best known for faith-based films such as “17 Miracles,” “Love, Kennedy,” “The Cokeville Miracle” and “Ephraim’s Rescue.”

The release date for “The Fighting Preacher” is set for July 24, also known as Pioneer Day and Utah’s statehood day.

To watch the trailer, click on the player below:

“The Fighting Preacher” debuts in theaters on July 24. Image: Facebook/The Fighting Preacher


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