Harvard and Yale Graduate Courtney B. Vance Realized he Needed the Lord (Gospel Light Minute #219)


He is an actor who is respected amongst his colleagues and praised as one of the best in the entertainment industry. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts and later attended Yale School of Drama to earn his Master of Fine Arts. He is notable for his roles in the feature films “Hamburger Hill” and “The Hunt for Red October,” the television series “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” in which he played Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver, and “The People v. O. J. Simpson,” in which he played Johnnie Cochran. For the latter, he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. He guest starred on the TNT series “The Closer as Chief Tommy Delk” from 2010–11. In 2013, he won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role in “Lucky Guy.”

Along with being an actor, he is a dedicated husband to actress Angela Bassett; a father to twins, son Slater Josiah Vance and daughter Bronwyn Golden Vance; and a contributor to society. Faith plays a big role in his life. When he was cast as Reverend Henry Biggs in “The Preacher’s Wife,” he felt an overwhelming need to get in touch with his faith. He said: “I knew I wasn’t going to get into that role without coming to the Lord. I had been trying to do that my whole life. My family was raised in the church and then we stopped going to church when I was about nine or ten – so I was on that search. I didn’t really understand how much I needed my faith until I got married. Two become one – it’s a mystery and I needed help and to know how to do it.” Through counseling, service, and scripture, he gave his life to the Lord and got baptized at a historic Harlem, New York, church.

When asked how faith played a role in his acting journey, he said: “The difficult thing is viewing things from God’s eyes. From his perspective a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. So I have learned to look at the pauses in between, God is working something out and for me not to worry about it and for me to continue work. Just like a farmer is not standing over his seedlings waiting for them to grow. He is busy getting things done, preparing for that time when it’s time to harvest because when it’s time to harvest and you’re not prepared then you’re in trouble. It’s all about preparation and perceived blessings. I’m just trying to be prepared.”

To excel in having a relationship with God, he said: “[God] is asking us to let Him in and if we let Him in, He will give us the desires of our heart and ‘open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing we don’t have room enough to receive.’ That’s ours; that’s the promise.”

His name is Courtney B. Vance.

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