Actor Kevin Sorbo on His Transformative Encounter With Billy Graham as a Teen: 'It Was So Moving'
Actor Kevin Sorbo is known today for his roles in faith-based movies, like “God’s Not Dead” and “Left Behind,” but the iconic “Hercules” star’s Christian roots took form at an early age.
Sorbo recently told CBN’s “Faith vs. Culture” he first read the prophetic book of Revelation when he was a young child and has been a lifelong Christian.
“I’ve been a Christian all my life … I grew up that way,” he said. “I grew up in a very strong Lutheran family.”
Watch Sorbo discuss his faith:
Like many Christian youths, Sorbo was involved in youth programs at his church, recalling an “awesome” youth pastor who would spend time pouring faith into him and fellow teens.
“We had a thing called The Room on Wednesday nights so, after basketball practice, football, whatever, … you go to The Room,” he said. “It was this double classroom. They had bean bags and couches and stuff when we’d hang out and we would talk the Bible with him. That was kind of huge for me.”
Then, at the age of 13, Sorbo had a powerful experience that has stuck with him: he met the late Rev. Billy Graham one August at the St. Paul Fairgrounds. He had gone to see the evangelist speak and ended up having a powerful encounter with him.
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“It was so moving for me; I remember it very vividly,” Sorbo said. “And I remember because I did something I normally wouldn’t do.”
The actor said he was never the “pick me, pick me” guy who would raise his hand on command. But, when Graham asked people to come to the front, something led Sorbo to head down with others.
After he sat down, he met the evangelist.
“All of a sudden, a hand went on my head and I turned around and it was the Rev. Graham,” Sorbo recalled. “And … we had a little chat.”
Graham prayed for Sorbo, and the actor said the moment forever stuck with him.
Years later, after achieving fame, Sorbo told TV host Larry King the story on-air and subsequently ended up receiving a phone call from Graham’s team.
There was a book coming out titled, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Billy Graham & Me: 101 Inspiring Personal Stories from Presidents, Pastors, Performers, and Other People Who Know Him Well.”
Graham wanted Sorbo’s story included — and the actor agreed. Sorbo even went on to do press and help Graham, who was aging at the time, promote the powerful project.
“It’s just such an honor to be part of that,” Sorbo said.
It was truly a powerful full-circle moment, with a chance encounter coming back decades later and solidifying as a faith-inspiring moment the revered actor is now sharing with the world.
As Faithwire previously reported, Sorbo is preparing for a new theatrical adventure, as he takes on the iconic role of Rayford Steele in the new movie, “Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist.”
The film, which tells the story of what life might look like following the biblical rapture, comes after Nicolas Cage played the role of Steele in 2014’s “Left Behind.”
Sorbo said people he encounters while speaking around the nation are deeply excited for the new “Left Behind,” and he’s hoping fans flock to the theater to watch when it hits Jan. 26 as a Fathom Event.
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