It’s not very often that an “A-List” Christian celebrity has the courage of his convictions, to speak openly and more importantly unafraid, about his faith, especially within progressive Hollywood, where such an open and profound declaration can have far reaching consequences towards one’s career.
However if you’re a 9-time Academy Award nominee, having won two of those golden statuettes for Best Actor, along with numerous other awards, including three Golden Globes, along with being nominated for both the Grammies and Tony Awards, then there’s little likelihood even in far-left “tinsel-town” that iconic actor Denzel Washington would be looking for an acting gig anytime soon because of his outspoken Christian faith.
However, the 66-year old actor, born in Mount Vernon, New York, wasn’t always the superstar we see on the big screen, in fact Denzel Hayes Washington Jr., began life, learning about God, long before he memorized his first acting lines. His dad Denzel H. Washington, Sr., was an ordained minister and gospel singer, and right from a young age, he was memorizing scripture.
Those ingrained Christian values have been with Denzel throughout his illustrious career; however a chance encounter he had with a prophetess in his mom’s beauty parlor, he believes guided him into an acting career.
That life-changing encounter has remained with Denzel throughout his life, and to this day almost 50 years later, the Academy Award actor, still keeps a crumbled piece of paper in his wallet, as a reminder of that encounter.
She wrote on the paper on March 27, 1975, “Boy, you are going to travel the world and speak to millions of people,” he recalled during the commencement speech he gave the new graduates of 2015 at the prestigious Dillard University.
Denzel continues, “Now mind you I flunked out of college I’m thinking about joining the army I didn’t know what I was going to go and she is telling me I’m going to travel the world and speak to millions of people. Well, I have traveled the world. And I have spoken to millions of people, but that’s not the most important thing, the success that I had the most important thing is that what she taught me, what she told me that day has stayed with me since.”
Denzel paused a moment looking out at the fresh faces graduating that day, and continued, “I’ve been protected, I’ve been directed, I’ve been corrected, I’ve kept God in my life and it’s kept me humble, I didn’t always stick with him but he always stuck with me. Put God first,” he told the new graduates.
Adding, “Everything that I have is by the grace of God, understand that. It’s a gift … I didn’t always stick with Him, but He always stuck with me.”
Denzel’s deep conviction has always been the source of his strength, especially within a place like Hollywood where ones values centers mostly on earthly pleasures, rather than the human spirit, and how God transcends all things.
Recently the acclaimed actor took up his fathers calling, ministering at a men’s conference held at First Baptist Orlando, Florida, where he once again allowed his faith (not his acting), to take center stage, speaking to those in attendance about matters that God has revealed to him, concerning this phase of his life.
Denzel, shared with those in the audience, that he had just buried his mother, and that he had promised God and his mother to “always do the right thing,” and to honor her memory by his lifestyle.
Don’t be surprised if Academy Award winning actor, Denzel Hayes Washington Jr., becomes Pastor Denzel Hayes Washington Jr…this time around, performing in the name of Jesus.