Raised in a loving Christian home, award-winning American actor Denzel Washington says growing up in the fear of the Lord is something that he values deeply in life.
Washington, 60, shared his Christian faith when he delivered a keynote address at the Church Of God In Christ's (COGIC) annual "We Care" Charities Banquet.
He recalled how his father's love for God influenced his life.
"My father, my earthly father, Denzel Washington Sr. was a pastor for the Church of God in Christ for 60 years," Washington said, according to The St. Louis American.
"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."
His father would make yearly trips from upstate New York to Tennessee just to attend the banquet, and now that he is unable to do so, Washington has stepped up in lieu of him.
"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."
Washington's life has not always been easy. When he was young, he received poor grades and his future looked pretty bleak. But one day, a woman from church approached him and told him that he is "going to travel the world and speak to people."
"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,'" shared Washington. "In this 40-year journey, I guess she was right. 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."