Chadwick Boseman Spoke Frequently About His Christian Faith
By Cooper Dowd, Staff Writer
Chadwick Boseman died last week, August 28, at the age of 43 after a private four-year battle with colon cancer. While he made a lasting impression as an actor, he also lived a life of faith in God.
Before his famous on-screen roles, such as King T’Challa in BLACK PANTHER, Boseman grew up in a Christian home in Anderson, South Carolina. According to Boseman’s childhood pastor, Pastor Samuel Neely, Boseman also got baptized at Welfare Baptist Church. Despite the actor’s fruitful career in Hollywood, he did not forget his childhood faith and often professed his Christian beliefs to those around him.
Pastor Neely said he saw Boseman as the same person who grew up under his teaching as a child.
“When I see him, it’s almost like seeing my own child; he’s still Chad,” the minister told WHNS-TV. “He did a lot of positive things within the church and within the community. With him singing in the choir, with him working the youth group, he always was doing something, always helping out, always serving. That was his personality.”
While honoring Denzel Washington in 2019 with the AFI Life Achievement Award, Boseman quoted Ephesians 3:20 to the actor, “May God bless you exceedingly and abundantly more for what’s in store than He ever has before.”
Twenty years prior, Washington paid for a young student’s studies abroad at the British American Drama Academy, without knowing that it was Boseman.
Boseman also quoted scripture publicly while addressing the 2018 student body of Howard University, the actor’s alma mater, in a commencement speech.
In the speech, Boseman made several references to the Bible and quoted scripture, including Jeremiah 29:11.
“Sometimes, you need to feel the pain and sting of defeat to activate the real passion and purpose God has predestined inside of you. God says in Jeremiah, ‘I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future,'” Boseman told the graduating class.
“Graduating class, hear me well on this day… This day when you have reached the hilltop, and you are deciding on next jobs, next steps, careers, further education, you would rather find purpose than a job or career.
“When God has something for you, it doesn’t matter who stands against it. God will move someone that is holding you back away from the door and put someone there who will open it for you, if it’s meant for you,” Boseman continued. “I don’t know what your future is. But if you’re willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes, the one that has ultimately proven to have more meaning, more victory, more glory, then you will not regret it.”
Many of Boseman’s co-stars and friends in the entertainment industry offered their sentiments after the actor’s passing.
Fellow actor Josh Gad shared on Instagram about the actor’s heart for serving and loving others.
“There aren’t words to express what an amazing human being Chadwick Boseman was,” Gad said. “You come upon people in your life who are next-level good. This was a man who was beyond talented and was so unbelievably giving, not only as a performer but as a human being. Beyond just being Black Panther, Chadwick was T’Challah in real life, he was somebody who just gave and gave and gave and never stopped giving.”
Gad also shared on Twitter the final texts he received from Boseman. In those messages, Boseman reminded Gad to take advantage of his time and encouraged him to “enjoy the simplicity of God’s creation.”
“We should take advantage of every moment we can to enjoy the simplicity of God’s creation, whether it be clear skies and sun or clouded over with gloom,” Boseman wrote in the text. “And hey, if the air is this clear right now, and it does rain tomorrow, I might even put jars and bins out and catch the rain. Throw that in the water filter and have a water more alkaline than any bottled brand out there.”
Breaking my twitter silence to share some beauty. This was one of my final texts from the brilliant & once-in-lifetime talent, @chadwickboseman – take this in & celebrate life. He knew how precious every moment was. Tonight the Heavens received one of its most powerful angels. pic.twitter.com/Hj8Cb1IfZS
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 29, 2020