As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
Denzel Washington opens up about his christian faith, importance of raising children in the fear of the Lord in a speech.
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 God.
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 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."
"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."
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
SPEAKING OUT ABOUT GOD IN HOLLYWOOD
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.