The entertainment industry has been labeled a wasteland with a stigma of vice and sin. While there often appears to be a separation between faith and, surprisingly, there are devout Christians in the entertainment industry who have been transformed by Jesus Christ. These figures have starred in, written, directed or produced content in Hollywood. While many of these leading figures are men, there are also women in entertainment using their platforms to share Jesus. Many of these people found God in remarkable ways, and they are sharing the Gospel creatively. They also allow their faith to influence their decision-making professionally, so they are an inspiration. Here are six women leading the way in Christian entertainment.
Ciara has been very vocal about being a devout Christian and how important her faith is to her. She is known to share her faith on social media and has opened up numerous times about her marriage with her husband, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russel Wilson. In Essence magazine, the singer said she prayed for a man who shares her faith. The two have used their platforms to glorify God. This year, Ciara and Russel signed a first-look deal to develop and produce a scripted series and films for Amazon, Daily Mail reports. This will be through their production company "Why Not You." The two had previously worked with Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos after he invested in their social networking startup TraceMe, later bought by Nike. This platform will be used to share inspiring stories to the world and will surely amplify their faith.
You cannot talk about Christian entertainment without talking about Roma Downey. Roma and her husband Mark Burnett have been able to revolutionize the entertainment industry with beloved Christian content, including "The Bible Experience," "A.D. The Bible Continues," and "Son of God." They also launched LightWorkers, an online destination for good news stories and Christian content.
"LightWorkers has sparked a movement on social media, where we've been able to engage across different platforms sharing positive messages of hope and encouragement. We need these inspirational messages now more than ever," Roma said. "My motto has always been that it's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. My hope is that LightWorkers.com will invite others to do the same, inspiring them to shine their own light within their communities to remind us that there are good people doing extraordinary things everywhere."
This is just a fraction of what Roma and Mark have done for the entertainment industry, and it doesn't look like they plan on stopping soon.
Christian actress Ashley Bratcher opened up about her faith journey, along with her faith journey in Hollywood. In an interview with PureFlix, she opened up about her faith journey, sharing that she once had a "love-hate relationship" with God until she came into deeper faith. This shift helped in faith-inspiring movies and TV shows. "I had this love-hate relationship with God…It wasn't until years later when my son was born that I realized what relationship looked like versus religion." She also added, "If I can love my child so, so much who I just met, how much more must a heavenly father who created the universe love us?" After this, she never looked back. She has appeared in a number of Christian projects including "The Encounter," "Princess Cut," and "A Walk With Grace."
The "Black Panther" star has been very vocal about being a born-again Christian. When she accepted the EE "Rising Star" award by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), she opened up about how her faith helped her through her struggles with depression.
"I identify myself as a child of God… A few years ago, I saw myself in a deep state of depression, and I literally wanted to quit acting. The only thing that pretty much pulled me out of that was God, my belief, my faith, my family, and email from BAFTA saying that they wanted me to be a part of the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits, and I was like, 'let me try again.'"
When she received her BAFTA award, she affirmed the audience, saying, "I want to encourage you that God made you and you're important."
Previously labeled a sex symbol in the entertainment industry, she is now recognized for her bold faith. She and her husband, former Senior Vice President of Columbia TriStar and Hollywood executive Devon Franklin, wrote a book about their abstinence experience and how it molded their relationship. They also shared how important it was to find intimacy through means like communication. Ultimately, sex didn't define their relationship. Today, she picks up roles and projects that feel right in her spirit. She also will not do nude scenes. Today, she hopes that her films will reach audiences of all cultures and faiths. She hopes that the movies and shows she's featured in will be something positive and relatable.
Karen Abercrombie who starred in the Christian film "War Room," is a powerful force in the world of Christian entertainment and deserves the accolades she has. In her 2015 "War Room" role, she was first noticed when she played Miss Clara, a woman with a deep passion and desire for Jesus. Abercrombie found Jesus at a young age but drifted away. After coming back, she's been a staple in Christian films.
"Even all of the time I was out there, I could feel the presence of God there because I had left. It didn't mean He had," Abercrombie said. "He never does – He's the same yesterday, today and forever. He never leaves us nor forsakes us, so all I had to do was turn back around in His direction…He was always surrounding me."
You may not realize it but these Christian women in Hollywood are using their platforms, including their writing, directing and producing, changing the way we view entertainment. They are using their platform to advance the Gospel and Jesus' mission. Psalm 96:3 says, "Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples." That's exactly what they are doing. They have answered our call as Christians to seek God and His righteousness.