Hollywood actor, Denzel Washington, spoke at a christian men’s conference, “The Better Man Event,” hosted by First Baptist Orlando, on September 18, 2021.
In a half hour sit-down interview with A.R. Bernard, the senior pastor of Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center, Denzel told the audience that every time he starts praying God has a word for him to ‘feed My sheep’:
“In every prayer, all I hear is: ‘Feed my sheep.’ That’s what God wants me to do.”
But it was a bit confusing, because as a Hollywood actor he wasn’t sure what that meant, but eventually he realized that there are different kinds of sheep, and God had people for Denzel to minister too:
“What I found out in the last couple of years is there are all kinds of sheep. So that’s why I talk to experienced shepherds to help guide me.”
But that calling to feed My sheep has been on Denzel for several decades. In an interview with Parade Magazine in 1999, Denzel stated that at times he’s wondered if he should become a preacher stating in the interview, “A part of me still says, ‘Maybe, Denzel, you’re supposed to preach. Maybe you’re still compromising.’ I’ve had an opportunity to play great men and, through their words, to preach. I take what talent I’ve been given seriously, and I want to use it for good.”
During his interview at The Better Man Event, Denzel, 66, said that Pastor Bernard has been a spiritual mentor and one of things that stuck with Denzel is how Bernard defined fear as “nothing but contaminated faith.”
And like anything we need to work on our faith. He told the audience that, “My chest is sagging right now because I haven’t been lifting weights. I’m losing weight first. So you got to lift them faith weights. You got to do your curls and your squats daily. You may get injured; you may want to throw them down, you may want to give up, you may never be big … you have to refill your bucket every night. You have to refill your bucket every morning.”
During his distinguished Hollywood career, Denzel has won two Academy Awards and three Gold Globe Awards and in 2020, the New York Times nominated him as the greatest actor of the 21st century.
But it come with a price as Denzel went on to describe ‘fame’ as a ‘monster’ and he has had his challenges in his walk with God, but told the men, “Be you famous or whoever’s out there listening, we all have our individual challenges. It’s cliché [but] money, don’t make it better. It doesn’t. Fame just magnifies the problems and the opportunities.”
His advice was for men to get on their knees and pray, but added that while praying we need to “listen to God.”
In the 1999 interview with Parade Magazine, Denzel also shared how God gave him a word when he was just 20 years old that he would be speaking to millions.
Denzel was in his mother’s hair salon, when Ruth Green, a woman known for a gift of prophecy in the Pentecostal church his family attended, had a prophetic word for him.
It came at a very difficult time in Denzel’s life as he was quitting college in a couple days because he was doing so poorly and like Abraham’s wife, Sarah (Genesis 18:10-12), Denzel scoffed at the word:
“I’ve felt the hand of God on my life, no doubt about it. I remember sitting in my mother’s beauty parlor in Mount Vernon, N.Y., on March 27, 1975, and in the mirror I kept seeing this woman looking at me.” Washington was then 20, a student at Fordham University in the Bronx. “I was doing so bad in school, and this woman said, ‘Somebody give me a piece of stationery! I’m having a prophecy!’ I still have that piece of paper. ‘You’re going to speak to millions of people,’ she said to me. ‘You’re going to do great things!’ And I thought, ‘Yeah, right. When’s that going to start? On Monday? I’m flunking out of school.’
But today he has a voice that can reach millions.
READ: ‘Feed my sheep’: Denzel Washington reveals what God’s been telling him to do AND ‘Listen to God’: Denzel Washington Tells Orlando Church Conference What God’s Been Telling Him to Do AND “I Try To Send A Good Message”