Chadwick Boseman, known for playing James Brown, Jackie Robinson, and the star of the groundbreaking superhero movie Black Panther, passed away on Friday from colon cancer. The highly sought-after lead actor was only 43-years-old.
Boseman’s publicist confirmed that his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and family members were by his bedside at the time of his death. The up-and-coming actor found out that he had Stage 3 colon cancer back in 2016, and it had since advanced to stage 4.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” a statement released by his publicist said. “From ‘Marshall’ to ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”
The tweet announcing his death has become Twitter’s most-liked tweet of all time, currently sitting at over 7 million. The social media company’s account announced the news in its official feed.
But while the secular world may be celebrating the many standout roles Chadwick portrayed on the big screen, the Christian world is left with a much more eternally-minded reason to reflect on the inspirational star.
Though his early passing is a total tragedy, we can take comfort in knowing that his salvation was in Jesus Christ.
Chadwick was certainly not shy about sharing his faith and giving credit to God for his successes.
After the actor played Jackie Robinson in the 2013 film “42,” Chadwick talked about the importance of Robinson’s faith, a man who commonly used the phrase, “God Built Me to Last.”
— James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) August 29, 2020
“I think Jackie Robinson’s religion — his spirituality — is what helped him to endure this. There is no doubt about it. Because he believed in God, he believed that there was certain providence [in his life] in him being chosen, in the timing … many are called, but few are chosen,” he told Risen Magazine
Referencing Galatians 5:22-23, “One of the fruits of the [Holy] Spirit is self-control,” Chadwick added.
“He had to have all of [the fruit] — patience, love, gentleness, brotherly kindness, charity — but the self-control comes from going through the fire. I feel like it’s because he had God in him that he was able to make it through this.”
As the African-American actor was launched into superstardom as the leading man in Marvel’s Black Panther, he was no less hesitant to discuss his faith and the power of prayer.
In fact, he credited prayer for landing the lead role in Black Panther to begin with:
“You pray for something and then it actually occurs, you almost can’t believe it,” Chadwick told Hunger back in 2017.
He took part in openly sharing his testimony with other Christian actors and actresses in the film.
“During breaks, we shared our testimony of how we got to where did, and most of the people were testifying to God’s miracles, it was almost like church,” Sope Aluko, who played Shaman in the movie, told OkayAfrica.
Chadwick’s pastor as a child at Welfare Baptist Church, Samuel Neely, even doted on the young boy’s admirable progression from “a child of faith into a man of God.”
“Even though he plays these different people, I still see the person I knew as a child,” Neely told The Christian Post. “When I see him, it’s almost like seeing my own child, he’s still Chad.”
Neely went on to explain that Chadwick did countless positive things within his church and community.
“With him singing in the choir, with him working the youth group, he always was doing something, always helping out, always serving,” the pastor added in 2018. “That was his personality. I just seen him mature, and blossom into a man. And he’s doing an excellent job.”
Praise God that at such a young age, this man has made such a lasting imprint in this world a follower of Jesus Christ.
Please join us in praying for Chadwicks’s family during this unthinkable time of grief and heartache.