Actor Kel Mitchell Reminds Us ‘You’re Loved By God And You Were Born For a Purpose’

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Actor Kel Mitchell Reminds Us ‘You’re Loved By God And You Were Born For a Purpose’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Kel Mitchell was once a hugely popular child star, but the actor recently shared the new role he’s felt called to take on — a youth minister. 

Mitchell became a star while appearing on Nickelodeon’s ALL THAT and KENAN & KEL. He still appears on TV and in movies from time to time, and became a licensed pastor in 2019. 

“I’ve always known God,” Mitchell explained. “Grew up in a church, but there’s a difference between knowing God and having a relationship with God. And I just got to a point in my life where I wanted to make sure that He was in everything that I do. Because when I was trying to figure out everything on my own, I got into a lot of frustration and situations.”

“The thing about it is that a lot of depression comes from internalizing frustration, and you need to get it out,” he went on. “And you need to know that you’re loved by God and you were born for a purpose. When I figured that out, I wanted others to know that as well because He was always there for me in the ups and downs of my life.”

Mitchell knows all this firsthand. While starring in popular kids’ shows, the actor was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. His faith in God kept him going. 

“He gives me this joy that I have every morning when I spend time with Him,” Mitchell shared. “When I got the call to be a youth pastor, God spoke to me so clearly in my time of prayer. And I said, ‘Yo, I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it.’ He’s been there for me. And I want others to feel this joy and to feel this peace. We want people to live. We want people to enjoy life. And I’m all about that.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Mitchell’s work as a pastor:

Actor and comedian Kel Mitchell, known for his role in 1997’s GOOD BURGER, recently opened up about how he felt the call to become a pastor. However, Mitchell said that it was not easy to surrender his secular call as a comedian.

The ’90s pop culture icon—also known for ALL THAT, Nickelodeon’s longest-running live-action series that ran from 1994 to 2005, and popular spinoff KENAN & KEL—said that he put his faith in God and jumped headlong into ministry.

“There was a time where I felt like how will it be accepted? You know? How can I do this? I even searched around, like ‘Lord, send me people that have done this’ and I had no other actor or someone in the entertainment business that I could turn to that I knew was a youth pastor but also currently on television,” Mitchell said. “So I was trying to figure that out.”

However, after many years of contemplation, Mitchell said his wife, Asia Lee, encouraged him to step into the new occupation in faith.

“I remember I went to my wife and I said, ‘Babe, I’m trying to find someone to talk to about this,’ and she said, ‘Well, what’s wrong with being the first? What’s wrong with being that? Just being the first and trusting in the Lord? He told you to do this so trust in Him.’ And so that just spoke to my heart,” Mitchell recalled.

Despite the 42-year-old actor’s initial hesitation, Mitchell said he is thankful for God’s guidance in his new chapter of life.

“When you put Him in everything in your life, He helps you navigate and make the decisions in your life …. When I started to do that, doors started opening up in my life and it would be the things where God would go, ‘OK, yeah, go speak to this youth group, go speak to these children. Go speak even though you might not feel like speaking,’” Mitchell said.

Mitchell continued: “I might not feel like speaking at that point but I went and told my story. All through my life, I’ve felt the call to be a pastor. I would hear the Lord telling me, but I had to be ready and I had to be obedient within that, and I just hit a moment where it was just like, you know what? This is really what I want to do.”

Mitchell shared that he relied on prayer to help him make some of the difficult decisions that came from his new calling.

“I remember I was praying really hard like I always do and I heard the Lord speak loud and clear to me like, ‘This is the time to do it,” Mitchell said. “I want you to be a youth pastor but also still continue to work in the other gift that I gave you which is also in the entertainment business ’cause I need you to be there for both and show my faith in both. And so I was like ‘yeah, I’m here for you Lord. Let’s do this.’”

Mitchell noted that he wants to use his new role to show people the light of Christ. “It’s been miraculous to see the things that have happened within me answering that call, on both sides in my life—in my church and then also in the entertainment business where now when I go on set, I usually, I go on there, saying, ‘Who can I pray with? Why am I here? Who can I talk to about the Lord?’” Mitchell said.

Mitchell added: “Because it’s really about people seeing the God in me and not see just the character or just the person that I’m playing. It’s really seeing how I got through certain things in my life and obstacles and things of that nature. I have been in this business a long time and I feel like they should see the God in me and I would be doing people a disservice if I didn’t show them the way to the light.”

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