Steadfast – The Thornton Chase Story is a half-hour art film about the life of the first American Baha’i and a Civil War hero told through interpretive dance.
Born in 1847, Thornton Chase lived a life of personal rejection and pain. Chase lost his mother soon after he was born and his childhood, in his own words, was ‘loveless and lonely.’ Inspired by the movement to end slavery and when he was only 16, Chase gave up the opportunity to attend the prestigious Brown University and instead enlisted in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He become a commander of the US Colored Troops, a regiment made-up of African-American soldiers. This experience allowed him to understand the other side of the racial divide that was so powerfully present at that time. As a poet and musician he kept searching for spiritual meaning to life’s questions and heard about the Baha’i faith and its quest for the unity of mankind. At the age of 46 he became the first American Baha’i and soon after traveled to Akka (today’s Israel) where he met Abdu’l-Baha, the son of the prophet-founder of the Baha’i faith. Abdu’l-Baha referred to Chase as “Steadfast” because of his determination to share the unifying principles of the Baha’i faith courageously when others before him had turned away. Chase authored two of the first books on the Baha’i faith published in America. Abdu’l-Baha visited Chase’s gravesite immediately after Chase’s passing in 1912 and asked the Baha’is to visit him regularly to honor his memory.
Full Film coming soon. Meanwhile, please share the trailer with your family & friends.