Jamie-Lyn Bauer is an intercessor. Austin Peck seeks to find God's perfect will in every contour of his life. Julianne Morris has a passion for overseas missions. Kirsten Storms refuses to take the Lord's name in vain. Hunter Tylo boldly tells everyone who will listen about her relationship with Jesus.
It is not surprising to find such spiritually focused characteristics among churchgoers, but these Christians are also stars on daytime-TV soap operas.
As members of an unlikely but growing cast of believers on the Hollywood scene, their impact for the gospel is showing up both on and off the screen. They all are part of a deeper plot than the ones viewers see unfolding on the sets of Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, The Young and the Restless, and other soaps.
Perhaps it is ironic that a deeply devoted troop of actors, writers, producers, administrators, and stagehands populate this particular TV genre--famous for greed- and lust-driven storylines that extol duplicity, scandal, and revenge. But these believers are not debating whether or not a Christian should "run in the soaps crowd." They are on Hollywood's front lines and in studio back lots, leading co-stars and crew members to the Lord.
Charisma interviewed a number of these believers to hear in their words what it's like to be a Christian in Hollywood. Not surprisingly, we found that they face temptations and make mistakes--while being criticized by believers and nonbelievers alike who disagree with their stand for God in the entertainment industry.
They told us God is using them right where they are. And more than ever, they believe, it is the right time to share God's love with Hollywood professionals.
"Before, it was just getting people saved. Now we are equipping, encouraging and covering them," says Bauer, a former star on Days of Our Lives. "It is a very exciting time to be a Christian in Hollywood."
Click on a name below to read each soap star's story.
It's past midnight and the 23-hour-long shoot for a Days of Our Lives special has taken a dangerous turn. The script calls for a fire that forces Laura Spencer-Horton (played from 1990-1999 by Jamie-Lyn Bauer) to flee from the psychiatric hospital where she has been institutionalized.
The scene has been carefully choreographed, and firemen stand by to guarantee safety on the set. But something goes awry. A blazing 6-foot-long beam crackles and shimmies, then suddenly, ripping from its overhead moorings, plunges downward directly toward Jamie-Lyn and her co-star.
This predicament is not in the script. Instinctively, and almost audibly, Jamie-Lyn prays in tongues.
"By the grace of God, we were not hit," she says. "I know that God was there. I wouldn't be surprised if the enemy was, too. Satan probably was not very happy that I was on the show."
This was not the first or last time Jamie-Lyn sought God's presence while at Days' Burbank, California, studio. In fact, each day while she drove the short distance from her North Hollywood home to the TV lot, she interceded.
"I would plead that His blood would be everywhere I would go," she recounts. "This was my territory, God's territory. I would pray for divine order on the set. I prayed for His manifest authority to be present."
She sounds like intercessory leaders Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, or Frank Damazio firing up attendees at a spiritual warfare conference, not someone who has spent most of two decades acting in soaps, movies, and stage plays. But following the prodding of her spiritual mentors--who include Jacobs, Pierce and Damazio--Jamie-Lyn accepts her spiritual role in Hollywood.
As a Days cast member, her dressing room became her prayer closet, and God answered in a dramatic fashion.
She took spiritual authority over the psychic readings sought by co-stars and the horoscopes read each day in makeup. The activities disappeared.
She fervently pleaded for the salvation of every cast and crew member and asked God to bring more Christians to the show. Some were saved. More solid believers joined the cast.