Actor and comedian Kel Mitchell experienced incredible success in Hollywood, yet personal struggles clouded his life and perspective and brought him to the brink of suicide.
Mitchell, author of “Blessed Mode: 90 Days to Level Up Your Faith” and star of Nickelodeon’s “All That” and “Kenan & Kel,” grew up in a Christian household but fell away from his faith after achieving fame.
“I grew up in the church,” he told CBN’s Faithwire. “My grandfather was a pastor, but there is a difference between basically knowing God and having a relationship with God.”
After landing hit TV and movie roles, Mitchell battled intense depression and frustration before hitting a turning point that transformed his perspective.
Listen to Mitchell tell his story of redemption, overcoming sorrow, and entering ministry:
“I was just kind of like, ‘I want to [hit] the off button,” he said of his past emotional struggles. “When I decided not to take my life at that point, and I decided to live, that’s when things changed around for me.”
The process wasn’t instantaneous, but Mitchell was determined to make God “the head” of his life, realizing the Lord was with him no matter what unfolded.
“I started to change things in my life that were not of God,” he said.
As Mitchell prayed for guidance, he said God started to remove toxic people and things, showing him the proper path forward.
“I went through a lot of ups and downs within my life and within my career,” he said. “And in those downtimes, God was always there — He was there in the ups and in the downs.”
Mitchell was in for another surprise after sharing his story with young people. What started as a healing journey to inspire others ended up a missional calling.
The actor and comedian, whose career was starting to pick back up, suddenly felt God prompt him into ministry. At first, Mitchel couldn’t imagine merging his role as a youth pastor with his celebrity. His ministry was vital to him, and the balance seemed impossible.
“Lord, how am I going to do this while I’m also still a celebrity?” he prayed.
Mitchell recalled a conversation he had with his wife around the same time. He shared his dilemma and told her he didn’t know where to go for advice, as he didn’t know anyone else who was bi-vocational in Hollywood and the church. That’s when she offered powerful advice he decided to heed.
“My wife said, ‘Hey, you be the first, and you do it,’ and that’s what I did,” he said. “It’s not an easy task; I’ve been doing it for years.”
Mitchell said he is encouraged to see his faith’s impact on fans and the entertainment industry alike as he seeks to point people toward Jesus.
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“We are the ambassadors of Christ — we are His billboards,” he said. “We influence people to come to Christ.”
Mitchell is currently partnering with World Vision to support a May 21 Global 6K for Water, an effort to raise money for water access around the world. He’s hoping people partner up and participate to help provide for those in need.
“Kids are not getting clean water,” Mitchell said, emphasizing how the pandemic exacerbated the problem. “How do you [wash your hands and stay clean] if there’s no clean water near you?”
Get more information on the 6K run here.
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