Denzel Washington may be known as one of America’s most beloved actors, but there’s a side of Washington many haven’t seen.

Denzel Washington believes in God. And if you meet him in person, you’ll quickly learn that he’s unashamed to tell you so.

But Washington doesn’t claim to be a perfect Christian. In fact, he admits that many of his life’s deepest struggles are what caused him to turn to Christ.

After Days of Silence, Denzel Washington Reveals Heartbreaking News About His Family

Denzel Washington was born on December 28, 1954, in Mount Vernon, New York. Denzel’s father, Reverend Denzel Hayes Washington, Sr., was a Pentecostal minister and his mother, Lennis “Lynne” Washington, was a beautician and beauty parlor owner.

Raised in a loving Christian home, Denzel Washington says growing up in the fear of the Lord is something that he values deeply in life.

Denzel shared, “My father, my earthly father, Denzel Washington Sr. was a pastor for the Church of God in Christ for 60 years. I know he’s smiling in heaven, seeing his son doing the best I can do today, by the grace of God.”

Today, he’s one of America’s most beloved actors. But Washington’s life wasn’t always easy. Denzel severely struggled through school as he received poor grades and his future looked pretty bleak.

To make matters worse, shortly after turning 14, his parents divorced and young Denzel went on to live with his mother. Heartbroken and spiraling out of control, Denzel started down a dangerous and rebellious path. The young Washington was constantly getting into fights and staying out on the streets.

Desperate to save her son, Denzel’s mother sent him to a private preparatory school, Oakland Military Academy in New York — a decision that God used to transform his life forever.

“That decision changed my life,” Washington later said, “because I wouldn’t have survived in the direction I was going. The guys I was hanging out with at the time, my running buddies, have now done maybe 40 years combined in the penitentiary. They were nice guys, but the streets got them.”

Unlike many other actors of our day, Denzel didn’t grow up aspiring to be anything grande. In fact, Denzel’s challenging childhood led him to believe that he would never truly amount to anything. Until one day, a woman from church approached him and gave him a word of encouragement.

After Days of Silence, Denzel Washington Reveals Heartbreaking News About His Family

Denzel recalled back on the day that changed his life forever,”Now mind you I was 20 years old, with a 1.7-grade point average and had flunked out of school. She said, ‘You are going to preach,’” shared Washington. “In this 40-year journey, I guess she was right. Through my work I have spoken to millions of people.”

With a new-found hope, Den­zel enrolled into Ford­ham University. There, he played basketball as a guard and studied medicine. However, he soon realized that he lacked passion to be a doctor.

Rather than waste time and money, Denzel decided to took a semester off school and accepted a position as the creative arts director at an overnight summer camp, Camp Sloane YMCA in Lakeville, Connecticut. As fate would have it, Denzel’s time there would later prove to change the trajectory of his life forever.

After Days of Silence, Denzel Washington Reveals Heartbreaking News About His Family

While working at the summer camp, Denzel directed various activities– which included organizing skits for the children. And as it turned out, young Washington had a natural knack for acting.

In his book, Denzel wrote “The counselors there put on a talent show for the kids. So I put together these little poems and rhymes and skits for the kids in my cabin, and we stood up on stage and did our bit. After the show this guy named Miles Joyce came up to me and said, ‘Man, you ever thought about being an actor?

Denzel returned to Fordham with a new-found interest in acting and in 1977, Washington earned his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Denzel went on to receive a scholarship to attend graduate school at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. But it didn’t take long for Denzel get into acting. After just one year of grad school, Washington returned to New York City to take a stab at his professional acting career.

Just four years after Denzel began acting, Washington made his first Hollywood appearance in the film Carbon Copy (1981). Playing the role of Roger Porter, a long-lost, illegitimate son of a white corporate executive. The film was a breakout success and is still considered an American classic to this day.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. My advice to Denzel is, demonstrate your faith by avoiding the filth and corruption of the Hollywood left. Some of your movies are disgraceful, with the nudity and vulgar language that you personally take part in. I’m not judging you, I’m just stating that when the world sees that we participate in their filthy deeds it destroys our ability to show the lost that we are a “peculiar people” called to live lives that are, to the best of our ability, separated from the world’s corruptions. I know it’s impossible to avoid evil this side of heaven but we do have choices about how we will live our lives and make a living. I think you are an outstanding actor but I’m very saddened by your willingness to take some of the acting roles that you have chosen. Leave it to those who don’t name the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Set your standards high brother, the Lord will surely honor you for it! God bless you.

    • Perhaps this points out the very real lack of Christian film writers. It is possible to present real life situations without depicting every sinful setting in full color and ungodly language. My Brother, maybe you could prepare a script concentrating on God’s redemptive power to change lives; what a witness and testimony that would be! You have my prayers!

    • We all love to get up on our high horse and peach what’s wrong with his work. I too came out of Pentecostal believe in my Childhood and up to my teens. I walk away from Christ:(. He never left me!! I’m now born again Christian 6yrs. Thank you Jesus!! Nothing wrong with his movies! It’s just a movie not his life or his relationship with God! Like the song said; It is good with my soul!!!! Let not be naïve… Lets pray for Hollywood
      t💕.

  2. Mr Washington,As I love seeing you on the Screen. I love it more to hear of your faith In Christ.
    Remember. You are more of a preacher .Sr through your acting preach God’s word.

  3. i completely agreed. you are a life giver give it through action let the voice of redemption be heard in your acting. i know it isn’t easy standing out in the midst of dark and perverse generation. you are a light, a city set on a hill, a salt you are . may God make you a true witness in deed.

  4. May God use the talent he blessed you with fir His glory as you walk closely with him daily
    God wants his love to flow through you in the lives of those you touch on daily basis
    Just today we prayed for all believers in Hollywood to stand up strong and be unashamed and uncompromising in their faith and let the whole world see you are the son a priest a king a saint an ambassador an heir of the most high God not what others say or what you think about yourself
    It is what God says about his children in the kingdom of God
    That is all believers in Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection
    Love conquers all
    Love you acting never miss a film specially taught Cry Freedom at high school text the role of Steven Biko was examplery

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