Self-described “tough Mama’s boy” Mr. T is proud of his Christian faith.
One of the most recognizable characters on TV, cinema, animation and including computer games is Lawrence Tureaud or Mr. T. Everybody knows the man with that signature African Mandinka warrior haircut, tough and intimidating image and of his extravagant jewelry wearing in the past. But certainly not all people know that Mr. T is a devout Christian and often describes himself as a “tough mama’s boy.”
In a previous interview and testimony with the Christian network TBN, Mr. T explained that his relationship with Jesus and God started during boyhood. As the son of a Christian preacher, he often served as his father’s Bible bearer. He was baptized at 4-years-old and ever since was groomed to become a preacher.
Mr. T considers his mother as the biggest influence in his personal and Christian life. As he cites “My mother raised me with God. We were poor financially, but we were rich spiritually… My mother never cursed at home; my father never cursed at home, my father didn't drink. Even though we were poor, we would say a blessing over the table. So that's who I am… I always say I'm one of the toughest mama's boys you're ever gonna meet.”
The actor remembered that since childhood, he has been friends with the “bad” boys. As he grew up, there are numerous opportunities for him to go bad. He even admitted that he was never afraid of becoming a criminal. But the only thing that stopped him from doing such negative actions is his love and respect for his mother.
Mr. T was spotted by Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone in 1980 during an interview for the contest “America’s Toughest Bouncer” where he participated. For Mr. T., God wanted him to win the contest to fulfill his promise of giving the prize check to charity. Ever since, he is living a life of giving and caring for the poor as his way of following Christ’s teachings “As a Christian you forgive and you feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, and you visit the sick, and comfort the lonely. If I'm a true follower of my lord and savior Jesus Christ, I got to do the things you're supposed to be doing. You just can't say, 'I believe in Jesus' and then don't forgive somebody or hold a grudge against somebody.”
There are several life events that made his faith to God even stronger like the instant when he granted a dying boy’s final request to meet him personally. Mr. T wondered why the child chose him among all the numerous personalities in the world. His friend pastor prayed and said that the child saw the God qualities in him that he didn’t saw for himself.
Another turning point in his life and faith is when he was diagnosed with cancer in 1995. It’s the time when money proved to be useless in saving him. He admitted doubting the power of God at first but eventually remained hopeful “He warned us that it would get rough, and hard… but not too hard for God. I can feel my faith returning; now, I can put up a good fight against cancer, if not beat it!”
There are also instances when Mr. T had to turn down various opportunities like the million dollar beer advertisement contract in Japan because it is against his beliefs and for him would only be tantamount to lying. And right after Hurricane Katrina left thousands of people homeless in the U.S., Mr. T had discontinued wearing his bulky gold jewelry so as not to disrespect the people who have lost everything.