Faith. It's not uncommon for Christian and celebrity to appear in the same sentence nowadays but let's go back for a moment before we spring forward. I realize that I may be aging myself but, when I think about Christians who hold some type of celebrity status I look back at my youth and the first name that comes to mind is Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains. Some don’t know that Cameron was an atheist and at 17 years old he became a born-again Christian. I recall Cameron being unapologetically vocal about his Christian faith which was uncommon during that time in Hollywood.
Oh, and I can’t forget about the multi-talented actor and comedian Chris Tucker. Tucker became a born-again Christian in 1997 and he declined to reprise his rememberable role as Smokey in Ice Cube’s Next Friday and Friday After Next. Many were shocked and so was I. Not only did Tucker say he was a Christian, but he was living it out and making professional decisions based on it. The stance that Tucker took as a black man in Hollywood at the top of his game was significant and left a lasting impression on how I would choose to live out my faith in this crazy world.
But back to the question at hand, who are the new faith-driven movers and shakers of this new generation? And I'm not talking about gospel artists, preachers, and teachers. What they do is awesome but I'm talking about Christians who are visible and vocal across a plethora of industries such as entertainment, business, sports, and tech. You know those who work outside of the traditional church and religious based communities. Those who are out here in the marketplace! We are familiar with celebrities Tamera Mowry and sportsmen like Russell Wilson, Tim Tebow, and Stephen Curry.
But who are some of the others standing for God and not afraid to share it on social and live out their faith in their respective industries?
1. Simone Biles, 21 is one of the most decorated American Olympic gymnasts whose faith was strengthened by her family. Although Biles biological mom suffered from drug and alcohol abuse her grandparents took her and her sister in and taught her how to pray and go to God for anything. Biles said that her grandmother would tell her that if you don’t know, leave it up to God. Pray to Him about it.
2. Chance the Rapper, 25 is a Grammy award-winning artist who has been open about his faith and his struggles. He considers himself a Christian rapper but some aren't so sure. Check out the tweet below.
Though some may find his expression of faith controversial this is his personal journey and it appears that his relationship with God is a priority as he announced a self-imposed sabbatical on December 11, 2018, via social media because he wants to study the Bible.
3. Letitia Wright, 25 is a Guyanese-born British actress of the box office success, Black Panther. Wright shared with “This Morning” that she told a hiatus from acting because she “idolized” her career. Wright went on to say that she went on a journey to discover her relationship with God and became a Christian. This is a lesson for us all that when she let go God came in and took the wheel and took her on the ride of her life with Black Panther!
4. Yvonne Orji, 35 is a Nigerian-American actress best known for her role as Molly in the HBO series Insecure. Although the character that Orji plays is sexually active that is not her truth. Orji said that she sat down with God before the fame and asked him, how do you want me to represent you while I'm here? The answer she received was beautiful, to make God proud.
5. Sarah Drew, 38 is an American actress, director, and producer. She is known for playing Dr. April Kepner in the ABC medical drama series Grey's Anatomy. Dew used her own life experience for her character, Dr. Kepner. Drew is a Christian who refrained from pre-marital sex just like her character. Drew told Marie Claire, “I waited until I was married to have sex so I understood April’s motivations.
I realize that you may look at this list and think that I got it all wrong and you may be right based on your definition of what it means to live out one's faith as a Christian. If God called you to the market place to serve as an attorney, scientist, politician, activist, actor, musician, or filmmaker. What would that look like as a Christian? There are many more who are repping the kindgdom. So I want to hear from you! Who are some other millennials taking a stand for God and inspiring you on your journey?