Denzel Washington, one of Hollywood's more outspoken Christians, has said he views his impressive film career simply as an opportunity to serve God and his family.
"I'm in the service business now, I'm fine. I've done well," Washington said on the "TD Jakes Show" last week. "I don't need any watches and all of that. So I'm here to serve God, here to serve my family."
When Jakes voiced excitement that Washington knew who he was and had watched his sermons online from The Potter's House megachurch in Dallas, Texas, the "Fences" actor shared how the pastor had impacted him: "One of your sermons you talked about was the enemy is the inner me. And I've kept that," he recalled.
Washington, best known for iconic films such as "Training Day," "American Gangster" and "Philadelphia," has been hailed "one of the most powerful Christians in Hollywood" due to his outspokenness concerning his Christian faith.
The Academy Award-winning actor is the son of a former pastor of the Church of God in Christ, and has in the past credited his massive success to the influence of his father and 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?" he recalled at the Church Of God In Christ's (COGIC) "We Care" Charities Banquet in 2015. "She said 'boy, do you know all the people who have been praying for your behind...all the prayer cloths, and prayer meetings.'"
At the event, the actor urged attendees to pray daily and maintain a spirit of gratitude: "Give thanks for blessings every day. Every day. Embrace gratitude. Encourage others. It is impossible to be grateful and hateful at the same time," he said.
"I pray that you put your slippers way under your bed at night, so that when you wake in the morning you have to start on your knees to find them. And while you're down there, say 'thank you.'"
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.