I Saw The Light: Celebs Who Left The Entertainment Industry Behind For Jesus

March 18, 2014  |  

When your faith becomes stronger, it’s amazing the effect it can have on your way of looking at and doing things in life. From watching what you say and the image you put out there of yourself, once you’re born-again, (for many people) you are a new person. These famous folks changed their lives, changed their music, and in many cases, stepped away from the entertainment industry altogether to focus on getting closer to God.

"Chris Tucker pf"

Chris Tucker

While Chris Tucker never officially disappeared, he decided to start working every once in blue moon despite being on a hot streak in the mid-to late ’90s. The only work he would do for a good decade was the Rush Hour franchise, though he did take a role in the Academy Award-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook in 2012. Despite being the most-loved sidekick to Ice Cube’s Craig in the Friday franchise, Tucker wouldn’t sign on for the sequels to play Smokey because he had become a born-again Christian after doing the film Money Talks and no longer approved of the character.  

Instagram

Mase

I had the biggest crush on Mase after that Harlem World album came out in 1997. Who didn’t? But by 1999, Mase was having a change of heart about the whole rap thing. After releasing his sophomore album, Double Up, Mase revealed to Funkmaster Flex that he was retiring from the rap game to pursue a calling from God. He went on to become a pastor, and did that until 2012 as pastor and founder of El Elyon International Church and Mason Betha Ministries. Once he decided to return to rap, he says he realized that he might have jumped the gun trying to be a pastor so soon, but his faith is still strong:

“I didn’t give myself any room to grow, I went from one extreme to another extreme, I was just so gung ho about what I was learning, that’s all I wanted.”I went so hard in one direction that people had things to say and rightfully so,” Betha told Flex. “I don’t blame them for that [but] it’s been 13 years, let’s move on.”

Vanity

Vanity

Remember Vanity? Before there was Apollonia, Prince’s female protege was the s*xy lead singer of the group the Purple One formed called Vanity 6 (three women, six boobs, hence the “6”). The group was behind hits like “Nasty Girl” and their performances were quite raunchy. Vanity was supposed to have the lead role alongside Prince in Purple Rain, but left it all behind, and left Prince’s camp in general to focus on solo music and acting. Eventually, Vanity became addicted to crack cocaine in the late ’80s, and after almost dying from from the effects of years worth of drug use, Vanity became a born-again Christian, and went back to being known as Denise Matthews. “With the devil breathing down my neck, trying desperately to snatch and strangle me for hell, I repented.” She has since become an evangelist.

WENN

Montell Jordan

He’ll forever be known as the guy behind the jam, “This Is How We Do It,” but Montell Jordan wants to be known more these days for his work for Christ. In 2010, Jordan planned to put out new music, but it was shelved, so he found himself trying to reconnect with his faith alongside his wife, Kristin, and their kids. They joined Victory World Church in Atlanta and his life hasn’t been the same since. “The Lord spoke to me and said ‘you got to retire, you got to lay that life down.” Jordan became the Worship Minister at Victory World Church and along with Victory World Music, has released a gospel album called Shake Heaven.

Source: Twitter

Pebbles

After years of being known as the “Mercedes Boy” and “Girlfriend” singer (and as the rumors go, stiffing folks out of their money), Perri “Pebbles” Reid left the music industry behind to focus on God. She became Sister Perri and started a deliverance women’s ministry in Atlanta, deciding to do so in ’97 after she says the hand of God touched her life and changed her direction during a really tough time. She started the Perri Ministry because God told her she could change lives:

“He told me through this ministry that millions will be delivered and set free. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, they will be delivered from alcohol, drug addictions and abusive relationships.”

Celebs Who Left Hollywood For God

Angus T. Jones

Once the lovable little boy from Two and a Half Men, grown up Angus T. Jones’ faith became much stronger and he was no longer feeling his work on the show, calling it “filth” in a YouTube video in 2012 after being baptized. Jones, now 20, left the show behind and has since started working for the World Harvest Outreach Church in Houston, affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. While he has since apologized for calling Two and a Half Men filth, he says he doesn’t regret everything else he said about working on the show:

“It was difficult for me to be on the show and be part of something that was making light of topics in our world where there are really problems for a lot of people. I was a paid hypocrite because I wasn’t OK with it and I was still doing it. I really want to come into the light because I know that is where the healing is and I’ve seen God do amazing things.”

Rachel Worth / WENN

Kirk Cameron

After major success on Growing Pains, Kirk Cameron became a born-again Christian at the age of 17 after years of being an atheist. He would ask that things be removed from the script for his TV character that he felt went against his faith, and once the show ended, he became engrossed in evangelism. To this day, Cameron trains other Christians in evangelism. He did, however, cause major controversy in 2012 when he went on the Piers Morgan Show, saying that homosexuality is “unnatural, detrimental and ultimately destructive to foundations of civilization.” He received backlash from former Growing Pains castmates and quite a few other people, but never retreated from his statements.

"Donna Summer PF"

Donna Summer

The late “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls” singer became a born-again Christian at the height of her popularity. She wanted to stop singing a lot of the sexually charged music she became popular for, but was afraid she would lose her fans.

“If I have to perform those songs, it’s part of the weight I have to carry because of the wrong I’ve done. I have to acknowledge that I built this bed and I’ve gotta lay in it. There will come a time when I won’t have to ever do those things again. But it’s like the old remnants that you still have to clear out of your house. You can’t clean your house in one day so I’m going about it methodically.

I think that if I were to do an about-face and do spiritual songs, I would lose contact with all those people that would buy my records. I feel like I’m doing what I have to do.”

Source: WENN

Sherri Shepherd

The current co-host of The View has been pretty open about her faith on the show, and on the impact it has had on her life. She said she moved closer to God as her mom was dying, after she started getting evicted and was dealing with a stalker ex-boyfriend. Once she did, she admits that the “vulgar” stand-up she used to do had to go, and she lost some fans in the process of coming into her own:

“It was dirty. I thought I had to be Eddie Murphy. And it was working. It was very dirty, vulgar and blue. I had a following. I had a huge gay following because I did all the clubs in West Hollywood. All the gay pride parades and festivals. When you go into those kind of clubs, all male clubs, it kind of lends itself to being blue. I would get on stage and do an hour. Oh man, I was so blue. But I got a big following. It was very hard to let all that material go because I lost a lot of my following.”

SourceL WENN

Michelle Williams

No, Michelle Williams never disappeared from music, but she changed her musical direction during the height of her career to give love to God by releasing the gospel album, Heart To Yours:

“Some people will do gospel when their career fails, but I chose to do it at the height of the popularity of Destiny’s Child. And I didn’t want to do it because it was a fad. I wanted to do it because it’s in me. It’s in my heart.”

"Prince pf"

Prince

After years of singing classic but raunch-er-rific songs like “Head,” “Soft and Wet” and “Gett Off,” it’s a rarity that you’ll find the Purple One singing these particular songs live these days. Even some songs from his landmark album Purple Rain (think of “Darling Nikki”) aren’t really his thing to perform like that anymore. Why? Because Prince became a born-again and devout Jehovah’s Witness in 2001 and decided to leave his sexually charged hits behind. However, Prince has quite the catalog outside of such tracks to keep fans entertained.

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  • So, Prince and his ex-wife separately turned to the Lord God.

    I hope to see more celebrities turning to the Lord Jesus Christ and repenting their sins.

    Heaven and hell are real places and nothing to play.

  • Like Kirk Cameron, I cannot support homosexuality because it is against God.

    The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin.

    If God approves homosexuality, then He would had just created all men only and no women at all.

    If friends, relatives, and other people of the world don’t like it, that is too bad.

  • Pingback: Some Celebrities Who Left Hollywood for Faith()

  • ed dugan

    God riddance to every one of them. It’s really a mis-use of the word celebrity for those losers. They went to Jesus because he isn’t there but any excuse when your failing. I think they call failing today and “outcome.”

  • LarryBundyJr

    Out of all those people, I’ve only ever heard of Chris Tucker, Donna Summer and Prince.

  • NELLE

    IT’S ALWAYS A WONDERFUL THING WHEN PEOPLETRULY WAKE UP AND SEE THE LIGHT AND KNOW THAT THERE IS A HIGHER CALLING IN LIFE. THE SAD PART ABOUT IT IS THAT TOO MANY OF US SPEND YEARS LIVING LIFE GOING DOWN THE WRONG ROAD AND DESTROY THE MINDS AND LIVES OF MANY OTHERS IN THE PROCESS BEFORE EVER SEEING THE LIGHT! FOR THE MOST PART I AM TALKING ABOUT THE PAST FOUR(4) DECADES OF PUTTING OUT ALL THIS GANSTER RAP MUSIC AND MOVIES THAT HAVE DESTROYED THE MINDS OF MANY MANY BLACK YOUTH ALL ACROSS AMERICA… THUS AS A RESULT WE HAVE JAILS AND PRISONS FILLED TO THEIR RIM WITH NEGORES… STREET WALKING SAGGING PAINTS WEARING THUGS, BABIES HAVING BABIES, AND DRUG AND CRIME AND THE LIST GOES ON!!!!

  • Kimberly Gibson

    Kudos to them all. They should spread the word of their testimonies and lead others to the Kingdom. Show how right ruled over wrong and how God will assist you on your journey.

  • lolasam

    Jessus!!! what would people do for Money and Fame.

    When an old Lady died, she left all of her wealth to the churches and Charities of her choosing. Oddly enough, her friends didn’t know that she was that religious but that shows you how people can love Jesus, Buddha, or the holly cow without having to cash in or seek fame during the process… My2cents.

  • jt117

    What I don’t understand is why is it only so called Christians do this, republicans politicians are Christians the sell out America every day and go to church, some of the preachers are devils during the week and go preach things he is not living by on Sundays, so called jews and muslims business people rip you off for six days, one take off Saturday the other don’t even take a day off, in between prayers they rip you off. lots of religious people help corporations rip off people every day and go to their respective center on their worship days.
    PEOPLE THAT IS WHY ITS CALLED ACTING, its a job, go do your job whatever it is in the entertainment field and go worship your God on the respective day.

    • goldengrain

      I feel the need to speak up here. I was an employee of a corporation that employed a lot of orthodox jews as consultants. I can honestly say they conducted themselves in an honest and fair manner in all the dealings that I witnessed. We also have done a lot of business with B&H electronics, run by the ultra-Orthodox. We feel as though all issues concerning product were addressed in complete honestly with no attempt to steer us to a more expensive product.

      I was reared into fundamental Christianity and have graduated into the ‘spiritual but not religious’ category.

      Because Christians are so prevalent, and there are so many different versions, it is hard to make a blanket statement, but of course we would hear of more scandals involving them.

      I know nothing of Muslim business dealings, but it’s natural due to so many of their extremists making headlines these days, for people to feel uneasy about them.

  • coniljw

    Many of the celebs are Black. Did they vote for Obama? If so, they KNEW that he supported abortion upon demand & same sex marriage both of which are NOT supported by the Christian churches. I applaud these people for making their choices.

    • goldengrain

      But you’re so very wrong. Christian pastors used to be the person, when abortions were illegal, to whom parents of pregnant teens turned for advice and many ‘mentioned’ a place where they could get a ‘safe’ abortion. If they had a few bucks, they would be put on that plane that left regularly for England to get a legal and safe abortion there.

      Many pastors also believe, as science evidences, that people (like other animals) are born with their gayness. They hurt no one, and so clergy thought they should be given the same right of a church marriage as anyone else.

      You are probably thinking of Catholics, who had and still have many gays in the clergy, and some (not all ) fundamentalist Protestants. Certainly there are Christian churches that are compassionate and without such bias.

  • Tammy

    you forgot Chris McDaniel, who was the key board player for

    Confederate Railroad, He is now the head of the music program at Liberty Baptist church in Dalton,Ga and runs the Celebrate Recovery program at this same church…

  • Shelly

    You can’t be a born again Jehovah’s Witness.

  • Aquarius_Girl

    I’m loving most of the comments on this story because although I always put my faith in God, it’s a reminder that I need to get into church more and listen to His message.

  • ellen72

    A bunch of nut cases….

    • goldengrain

      There is a saying that goes something like this – when I was a child I spoke as a child, . . . but when I was an adult I put away childish things.

      I can only speak for Christianity, but I think it’s a great religion for building spiritual sensitivity in kids, for developing caring and good citizens and character. I also think there are many things in the religion that should not be taken literally and usually as an adult you see through this and leave.

      I don’t know whether there is a god, but I’m pretty sure that if one exists, it is not like the guy delivered to us in our holy books. I see nothing wrong with religion as long as it does not interfere with civic life, does not try to influence our laws or the conduct of those who are non believers.

      There is great danger in taking your religion too literally or thinking your religion is the ONLY way. True believers have only to look at the horrors going on in the world today and that most of them are committed by true believers.

  • Kelechi

    I wonder why many insane human beings attack those that speak out against gays/lesbians. Gay/Lesbianism is not normal and those that indulge in it should seek medical help or go see a therapist

  • Bee

    Well this is good to hear. There is nothing wrong with finding…or re-finding God. It’s okay if a lot of these stars lost a lot of their fans because at the end of this life it won’t matter. If God calls, you answer. Where he leads you, you should go. Even if it means you have to take baby steps to get there.

    • Aquarius_Girl

      Sorry to sound corny but your comment was beautiful and very true.

      • Bee

        You don’t sound corny. =)
        And thank you.

  • Forklift Jones

    Left one scam for another scam.

  • Kish PacenFalife Shedrick

    Montel Jordan’s Shake Heaven song it too legit to quit!!!! You should check it out!!!

  • JustSitNBePretty

    Tracy Camilla Johns from She’s Gotta Have It and New Jack City. Not only did she leave, she disappeared. I hear she wanted to focus on being a better Christian.

  • Otad12

    This made me think of Luke Ch. 16 with the beggar Lazarus & the rich man

  • James Williams

    Remember how Jesus changed Saul to Paul in the Book of Acts. He can change you at anytime. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

    • GerryL

      Saul had an epileptic seizure during which he had a vision on the road to Damascus. Big deal. Happens all the time.

  • Dr. Rob

    It must be terrible living in the dark ages

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I never knew that about Chris Tucker or Montell Jordan.

  • patric

    I AM glad PRINCE found the truth!

  • Chanda

    What about Tina Turner becoming a Buddhist when she was still dealing with Ike? That gave her the courage to finally leave him.

    I think that in Vanity’s situation with all the drugs and “sinning” she’s done in her day, it was either do or die and she chose God. And no your career doesn’t have to be over to find Jesus/God.

    • annu

      In Hollywood, Christians are being selective of their roles. Therefore, some have had to stop working. Not cussing, no sex scenes, etc. Also, Im confused about the Tina Turner reference

    • GerryL

      Buddhism is not a religion.You can be Jewish and a Buddhist, or Muslim or whatever and a Buddhist.

      • goldengrain

        Yes – and even atheist and Buddhist. Room for everyone!

    • goldengrain

      The beautiful thing about Buddhism is that you don’t have to believe in a god. It’s a religion that accepts you just as you are. Many religions say that, but then proceed to try to brainwash you into their way of thinking. Buddhism encourages you to make contact with divinity by looking within, finding your own path to truth. Of course, there are many ‘types’ of Buddhism, but I think if there is a god, the most honest way to discover him/her is through deep self observation and also observing the world around us – not through some book. This is why, as science discovers new things, Buddhism, and even Hinduism, can adapt and encourage an even greater knowledge of god’s handiwork, where religions based on a book alone find themselves arguing with reality.

  • praiseHim

    Its just good to see my church being mentioned!,Victory is a wonder ful church and Montell is doing an amazing job.

    • Annette

      I’m a Victory World Church member, too. I’m so proud of the job Pastor Montell is doing in the music department. I love the song, “Shake Heaven .”

      • A.B.

        I’ve visited Victory several times, It’s a great church.

  • Dmonique Holl

    I hate it when some celebrities try to find jesus when they career dont work out

    • queenofqueens

      Why does that bother you so?

      • Dmonique Holl

        Is wonderful to find jesus but why wait till your career is suffering why not when everything is going good

        • I guess sometimes it takes meeting the beast and living in the flesh, and the temptations of the world being at your beckon call to find God. #Kanyeshrug

          • jbdllc

            Its only a fool who does not believe there is God.

            • Misanthropist

              Well then I wear the epithet proudly….never heard of anyone crashing planes into buildings in the name of quantum mechanics, buggering boys for string theory, having multiple 12 year old brides or duping millions from impressionable ignorant elderly people for astrophysics.

              • goldengrain

                You’re right – but then the folks here seem to be primarily of one faith, which is another thing that is troubling. Many religions seem to think that they have the full story on god – the one true path – and this give them the right to impose their beliefs on the entire world, to change laws and governments for the rest of us.

                This is a mental illness and so many people share it.

        • juicyluv

          Some people have to fall to realize Christ was the answer all along. .its not wrong to turn to The Lord bc God and his son accepts us at any moment..and that is what he wants.

          • Dr. Rob

            You people are mentally unstable

          • Misanthropist

            If you could actually reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.

            • coniljw

              Open your closed up bitter mind.

              • goldengrain

                Some religious people have closed minds too. They ONLY believe in the bible, which was written centuries ago by a primitive and nomadic people for the situations of their day. Some are such fanatics, like fundie Muslims, that they want to change the laws and force ALL people to live by their rules. They would take away freedom of thought and scientific inquiry. Really, some Christians hate us for our freedoms just as some Muslims do. They don’t understand that theirs is not the only opinion and that sometimes their ideas hold no validity.

              • Misanthropist

                get an education

        • Gert

          It’s life in general, not just celebrities. Sometimes, the enemy has to show his face before people recognize who God is.

          • Guest

            The enemy always shows his face. However, if you don’t pray to God to give you the discernment to recognize it, it will continue to affect you. It’s not easy, because sometimes the enemy is actually the person you love (or at least thought so). But God in his own way, will always separate you from the sin that keeps showing up. All he wants is for you to come to him. Unconditionally go to God. Have the same faith in him that your children have in you (knowing he will make things right) and he will. He let me know to separate everything and anyting that could keep me from him………..AND I DID!

          • goldengrain

            Sometimes, the religion itself is the enemy. There are many biblical verses saying many will be mislead and that there is way that seems right, but leads to destruction. The enemy will even quote the bible, won’t he?

            So what many think today is godly, like bible following fundamentalists, may be the road to destruction. You cannot say otherwise just because many others are like believers, or because the bible says this or that,that it’s the right path.

            This is why people have brains, to use them, and even apply them to religious teachings. This is why the kingdom of god is within, and not in any book or the teachings of any preacher, or right just because so many of your neighbors think so. Think for yourselves, people.

            • coniljw

              The TRUE road to destruction is believing the Religion of Liberalism. It is covet-encouraging, jealousy-pushing, hate-mongering. It’s holy trinity is race, gender & income. It uses those 3 to pit citizen against citizen. It is radical/fanatica/extremist. Those who follow liberalism use ANY means to convert, destroy, hate.

              • goldengrain

                Liberalism, in its pure form, is an attempt to allow each person to find truth on his own, change his ideas, pursue his dream, as long as he does not step on others to do so.

                It does not attempt to force it’s idea on others. It believe in live and let live. It is ready to change it’s opinions if facts prove it wrong.

                It’s not a religion. That’s just silly. There are people who hate and covet and are jealous on both side of the political spectrum. You know that.

                • anti-anseline

                  Liberalism= do what you want, when you want, and don’t worry about who you hurt along the way.

                • anti-anserine

                  Liberalism is an extention of satanist, Alistar Crowley’s law. ‘Do what thou wilt,that is the law, the whole of the law’

        • DeeJay

          Dmonique the article says he found Jesus at the height of his career. He turned down to do anymore Friday movies because of it

        • Guest123

          True Words you just wrote for all to see.

        • Tiq

          Because when their career is suffering they need a new lucrative career. Peddling Jesus is a huge money maker.

    • shea

      Vanity and Prince career never died hello or Kurt or made nor Chris Christ will move you whenever he feels the time to change your life…

      • Dmonique Holl

        I said some I didn’t say everybody and vanity what career did she have

        • donny j

          Vanity career been over for nearly 25 years.

          • Dmonique Holl

            I know and all I remember was the last Dragon

    • louvres

      I’m glad Jesus is not like you. He LOVES you and accepts you WHENEVER you call his name and repent!

      • louvres

        I’m glad Jesus is not like you. He LOVES you and accepts you WHENEVER you call His name and repent!

        • Dmonique Holl

          Uhhh me to and how do you know what im like

        • god hates YOU

          Gayyyyy

    • -14ME

      most people don’t take the time to slow down and look at what is important in life until things have gotten bad or big changes happen. it’s easier to drift away from God’s will when things are going how you want them too. It doesn’t mean their profession of Christ isn’t genuine if that’s what you’re trying to insinuate

      • Dmonique Holl

        No thats not what im trying to insinuate

        • -14ME

          what were trying to say?

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Failure often leads people to Christ. He didn’t shun the thief on the cross. Neither should any of these celebrities be shunned if their conversions were sincere.

      • goldengrain

        Well, we don’t know that they are sincere, do we? I think society has gotten way trashier than it used to be, but we really don’t know, with religion, who is sincere and who’s just jumping on some popular bandwagon.

        Most people, when faced with declining income, look for some other type of gig that they can make money in. I, frankly, think that before joining a proselytizing religion, especially, a person should study how it came about. How authentic are the books that guide the religion? Are those books copies of copies of copies, or are they genuine first hand accounts? Are they reliable testimonies written directly after the ‘action’ in the books takes place, or are they trusting memories 40 years or more down the road?

        How did the religion gain a large following? Was there some ancient politician who thought it was a great way to control the public, so he promoted it? Did he incorporate pagan holidays and symbolism in the religion to make it more palatable for the heathen converts?

        Most good seminary schools have people study all these things, but the public is fed pablum.

        Chris Tucker seems to be sincere. At least he has the courage of his convictions. He may not stay in the religion, but while he is in it, he’s giving it his all.

        Sherri Shepard is not too bright. She also seems like an opportunist, ready to push herself forward despite her obvious lack of ability in many areas. She should not have been kept on the View for so long.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Having no personal relationship with any of the celebrities in question, I’ll take them at their word until further notice.

          • goldengrain

            Having no personal relationship with any of the celebrities in question, and aware that they hire PR agents to lie just to keep their names in the news, I think the smart thing is not to believe them. This should be a personal issue, and just the fact that it gets published makes me suspicious.

            After all, a lot of show biz involves pretending you’re someone you’re not.

        • anti-anserine

          Keep in mind,it’s not our place to judge her, and he who judges will be judged.

  • Mel R

    Kirk Cameron is in a great Christian movie called Fire Proof.

    • Dr. Rob

      Whacko

    • ellen72

      Kirk Cameron is nuts.

      • walt

        @ellen72,it won’t be long before you find out who’s really nuts.

        • Anon1213

          She did: Kirk Cameron.

  • illmaticgoddess

    You forgot the group The Boys who left music to go on a spiritual journey

  • MiaSara

    Vanity is crazy az he ll now. I saw an interview she did and she reminds me of Carrie’s mom Mrs. White. All in blk, bible in hand with that glazed demented look in her eyes.