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Academy award-winning actor, Denzel Washington took time out of his schedule to attend a special “Blessing of the Elders” celebration at the state-of-the-art Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. 

The evening in June took time to honor pastors whose ministry impact has stood out and set an example in the Black church in America.

“Blessing of the Elders will recognize seven outstanding pastors whose impact and ministry have been remarkable. They are examples to all and an inspiration to the generations to come. They have been faithful to the preaching of the Bible and ministering to the souls in their care. By awarding these accomplished leaders, we are upholding and enshrining their spiritual legacy as they pass the baton to the next generation of preachers, teachers, and pastors who are to come.”

Honorees included: 

  • Pastor A. R. Bernard 
  • Bishop Charles E. Blake
  • Pastor Shirley Caesar
  • Dr. Tony Evans
  • Bishop T. D. Jakes
  • Bishop Vashti McKenzie
  • Dr. John M. Perkins

The vision of the group is to honor Black pastors across the United States who have been committed to their call of preaching the gospel and caring for the souls of humankind. We acknowledge and appreciate their exceptional contribution as vitally important to the development of America’s biblical values.” 

Washington pointed out he was baptized at Bishop Charles E. Blake’s church in LA – West Angeles and discipled by Pastor A.R. Bernard and his mega-church in Brooklyn. 

“It’s been an amazing 40-year journey from Bishop Blake’s church, where I first was filled with the Holy Spirit, to tonight,” Washington shared according to a report in Religion News Service. 

“I have been prayed for and supported by many people, but specifically my mother and my wife now and for a long time,” Washington said while being interviewed by Bernard. “I’ve been protected. There’s been a hedge around me and a legion of prayer.” 

Bernard went on to share, “Christianity gave Blacks hope in the midst of a hopeless situation, and we’re not done yet. I believe the 21st century will see the Black church lead the way to hope and healing in a deeply divided nation.”


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