Actor Stephen Baldwin told a packed house of students in Dallas about his conversion to Christ following the 9/11 attacks and of his latest venture, “Livin’ It,” a high-energy DVD aimed at the “extreme sports” youth culture, featuring top Christian skateboarders and stunt bikers.
At the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC) at Criswell College, Baldwin told the 2,000 YEC students and sponsors how he came to Christ through the witness of his wife, Kennya, a believer of 10 years, and the 9/11 tragedy. Baldwin said he made a covenant with God and was baptized at the evangelical church he and his wife attend in upstate New York.
His conversion and his work in producing an “extreme sports” DVD to reach kids in the skateboarding and stunt biking culture has been reported in places like USA Today, The New York Times, salon.com, Fox News Channel and CNN. More recently, he’s also been a regular at Christian rock festivals and similar evangelical events -- even advocating that Christians turn out for the November elections.
Baldwin—the youngest of the Baldwin acting clan and a veteran of more than 60 movies—said he’s not concerned with potential negative consequences of being a vocal Christian in the entertainment business.
“I’m just doing what the Lord’s telling me to do. You know, if the Lord’s not telling anybody else [in Hollywood] to [talk publicly about their faith], well, then God bless ’em. But I don’t think that’s the case. I think there are a lot of people who don’t put their faith before everything else, you know. And that’s a big problem. I’m just doing what the Lord’s calling me to do. Period.”
During his YEC appearance, Baldwin lamented the number of Christians who didn’t vote in the 2000 presidential election and said the upcoming vote might be the most important in the nation’s history.
He stopped short of an endorsement but said he would vote “for the guy who I think has the most faith.” News reports also list him as planning to attend one or more events slated in conjunction with the Republican National Convention.
Plans are being made to organize a 2005 bus tour to endorse the “Livin’ It” DVD, which Baldwin directed and hosts. Baldwin said the tour would bring some of the top Christian “core sports” athletes to malls in cities across the country.