Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington delivered the keynote address at the Church Of God In Christ's (COGIC) annual "We Care" Charities Banquet, where he opened up about his deep Christian faith and emphasized the importance of raising children in the fear of the Lord.
According to a report from The St. Louis American, the 60-year-old actor recited the Lord's Prayer before highlighting his family's connection with the Church of Christ in God and sharing his personal testimony.
"My father, my earthly father, Denzel Washington Sr. was a pastor for the Church of God in Christ for 60 years," Washington said. "I can remember the most important time in our house - and he would be so excited - was when he was preparing to attend Convocation in Memphis, Tennessee. I didn't know what he was doing when he got here - in fact, I couldn't even say the word, but I knew it was important to him."
The "Man on Fire" actor recalled how every year, his father would travel from upstate New York to Tennessee.
"He would get his best two suits together, and my mother would fry him a tin of chicken and prepare a thermos of coffee, and he would make the drive," Washington said. "I know he's smiling in heaven, seeing his son doing the best I can do today, by the grace of God."
The St. Louis American notes that the purpose of the COGIC Cares Banquet, which this year was attended by over 1,000 people, is to raise funds for international disaster relief and scholarship funds. This year, the organization offered 37 scholarships to students around the nation
In continuing his address, Washington, who has four children with his wife, Pauletta, emphasized the importance of sowing into young people both in faith and finances, drawing connections to his life and personal testimony.
"Forty years ago, March 27, 1975 I was in my mother's beauty shop. I had flunked out of college. I had a 1.7-grade point average. I had no future," Washington said. "I was sitting looking in the mirror, and I see a woman behind me sitting under the dryer. Of course, the voice of God always comes from under a dryer."
The woman, one of the oldest members of his family church, began asking for a pen and paper so that she could write down the prophecy she had for Washington's life, the actor recalled.
"She said, 'Young man, you are going to travel the world and speak to people," Washington said. "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.'"
"In this 40 year journey, I guess she was right," he continued. "Through my work I have spoken to millions of people. In 2015, I said I'm no longer just going to speak through my work. I'm going to make a conscious effort to get up and speak about what God has done for me."
Washington also credited his massive success to the prayers of his mother: "I remember saying to my mother at a time when I was feeling myself, 'Ma did you ever think that I was going to become this...' She said 'boy, do you know all the people who have been praying for your behind...all the prayer cloths, and prayer meetings...' And she made me clean the windows."
Before taking the stage, Washington was introduced by his pastor, Church of God in Christ Presiding Bishop Charles Blake.
"You are aware of the great roles that he has played - for some of the most significant and some of the great movies of our time," the pastor told the crowded room. "And he has an extensive resume describing the roles that he has played and awards that he has received."
Blake continued: "But as his pastor, I just want you to know him. Here is a man who has shown great love and great respect for his church and his pastor."
Washington, best known for iconic films such as "Training Day," "American Gangster" and "Philadelphia," has been labeled as one of the most powerful Christians in Hollywood due to due to his outspokenness concerning his Christian faith.
In a graduation speech held last May 9, the actor inspired the graduates of Dillard University to "put God first in everything you do."
"Number one, put God first in everything you do. Everything that you think you see in me and everything you think I've accomplished and everything you think I have... everything I have is by the grace of God, understand that. It's a gift," he said.
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奥斯卡影帝丹佐華盛頓（Denzel Washington），11月八日傍晚在美國聖路易（St. Louis）市中心、基督裏神的教會（Church of God in Christ）的年度聖會（Holy Congregation）上，鼓勵會眾要將感謝獻給上帝。
「我禱告你們晚上都會把拖鞋放在床底下，所以早晨起床時，為了要找拖鞋都要先跪下，那時請向神獻上感恩。」在聖路易斯萬豪豪華酒店（Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel），丹佐對所有參加慈善晚會的人如此說。「你不可能同時滿懷感恩又滿懷仇恨，」60歲的丹佐說，「我們需要保持一種感恩的態度。」
這位知名演員從小在基督裏神的教會長大，他和妻子、孩子目前也還在該宗派西洛杉磯（West Angeles）的教會聚會。「每週日他們都會出現，很積極地參與其中。他們的孩子在幼兒室服事，也參加主日學。」基督裏神的教會的主教查理斯．布雷克 （Charles Blake）說。
丹佐的父親—老丹佐華盛頓（Denzel Washington Sr.）在基督裏神的教會牧會了60年。根據丹佐的說法，他的父親不只是位牧師，也是位好爸爸。小時候每天傍晚他聽見父親的車停進車道，都感到十分欣慰，那聲音給他一份安心的感覺。
基督裡神的教會是最大的非裔美國五旬節教派，有約12,000名會友。這是第六次年度聖會在聖路易舉行，也是美國中心（America’s Center）舉行過最大型的聚會之一。該教會的「我們關注」（We Care）慈善晚會則是為了募集國際救災資金和獎學金而舉行。
2015年（Denzel Washington）5月9日在迪拉德大學（Dillard University）的畢業典禮上演講，鼓勵學生要「把神擺在生命的首位」。
他接著告訴畢業生們，約40年前，他在念大專時，成績是不及格的。但當時在她母親的美髮店裡的一名女士卻對他發預言，說他將會「走遍全球並對百萬人 傳講信息」。之後，事實證明那位女士是對的，因著神一路扶持和幫助丹佐，他做到了。畢業於紐約福德漢大學（Fordham University），丹佐在1989年贏得奧斯卡最佳男配角。2001年，因在《震撼教育》（The Training Day）裡的精湛演技，一舉拿下奧斯卡最佳男主角。此外，他也榮獲金球獎和東尼獎的肯定。