DBU Alumni Combine a Passion for Evangelism and Filmmaking in their latest work, Run the Race

Two men are standing in front of the DBU Chapel.
Jake McEntire and Trey Brunson visit Dallas Baptist University and speak to students about their new movie, Run the Race, on the very campus the story was first created.

This spring, a new movie debuted in theaters with a unique DBU connection. The film, Run the Race, is the dream of DBU alumni Jake McEntire (‘06) and Trey Brunson (‘05), who for nearly fifteen years worked to see this vision become a reality.

Passionate about acting and the film industry, Jake began his college education at other schools, seeking training on the stage. Yet, he always felt a desire to pursue theological education in order to better connect the world of movies and the Church.

On his first day at DBU, Jake decided that he needed to meet then DBU President Dr. Gary Cook. Without setting an appointment, he went to Dr. Cook’s office and asked if he was available. In a demonstration of providence, Dr. Cook was in his office, and he and Jake met and discussed Jake’s dreams to become an actor and filmmaker one day.

Dr. Cook immediately discerned that Jake had significant potential and wanted to connect him with some other students on campus, so he called Trey Brunson, who shared a similar interest in creative ways to share the Gospel.


Later that day, the two met by chance in a Spiritual Formations class and quickly realized that Dr. Cook had wanted them to meet. Without hesitation, they struck up a conversation and visited a church together that evening, sparking a friendship that continues to this day, with each serving as each other’s best man in their weddings.

With a shared desire to spread the Gospel creatively, Jake began to tell Trey about a dream he had.

“I told him that I had an idea for a movie,” shared Jake, “and I began to unpack it [with him]. [The story] was about two brothers living in a small town, facing struggles and strife and how God changes the heart of one brother through the other brother. And for a year, I would tell him about another scene that I had, and he told me not to say another word until I wrote it down.”

“If you don’t write it down,” Trey explained, “nobody will see it. So often when you have this big dream, you don’t know how to take that first step, but it starts with the first step.”

That first step for Jake involved writing the script, and from there, the two continued to encourage each other as they tried to have the film made, which proved to be a long and arduous road.

“By the spring of 2013, I was about to give up. I prayed, ‘Lord, if you want to take this from me, I will do whatever you want me to do, but just end it.’ I was telling a friend that when the phone rang, and it was Trey telling me that he had just spoken with Robby Tebow, and they wanted to meet with us about the movie.”

“It’s nuts,” Trey continued. “When you are at the lowest you have ever been, God opens a door and gives you the hope that you need. I think about Jonah, as he said ‘I was at the depths and I looked up.’ That’s what happened for us.”

Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his brother, Robby Tebow, decided to throw their support behind the film and began to work with Jake and Trey as executive producers as they continued to find investors and line up all of the details to make the film a reality. Yet the dream would not have happened if they hadn’t totally surrendered it.

“It all starts whenever you just totally give your dream and your heart to Jesus and say that it’s okay if it’s just me and you,” Jake said.

LA Premier - Group Picture
Dr. Write with Trey Brunson
Tim Tebow at LA premier for Run the Race
Run the Race interview at DBU with Jake McEntire and Trey Brunson

Above are scenes from the LA premier of the movie in February. Trey and Jake made sure to invite Dr. Gary Cook and Dr. Adam Wright to thank them for their support to see the film become a reality.

For Jake and Trey, they pray that this film is just the beginning of many more creative ways in which to share the Gospel. Jake lives in the Dallas area and continues to write and act in various productions, and Trey serves as Director of Communications at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Written by Dallas Baptist University