Green Power Ranger Promotes Ultimate Hero, Jesus
RICHMOND, Va -- Thousands of young people grew up watching the children's, live action television series "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers."
Today, the man behind the green mask still attracts countless fans, but he now makes time to point those fans to "his" ultimate hero, Jesus Christ.
Jason David Frank is best known for his roles as Tommy, the Green Ranger. But he is also a champion mixed martial artist and karate teacher.
"Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" made its biggest splash in the early 1990s. More than 20 years later, fans still line up across the country for a chance to meet their favorite super hero.
Frank sat down for an interview with CBN News at Wizard World Comic Con in Richmond, Virginia.
"It was a soap opera for kids. I lost powers and people cared," Frank recalled, recalling his time on the series. "I was only hired for 10 episodes and 200 episodes later, two feature films, returning to Super Mega Force on Nickelodeon, just still going strong."
"My character was going to die. In the Japanese footage, he is gone. They ran out of footage, so my character was done. And I was happy with it," he said.
"I never wanted to become the leader. I did not take anyone's spot. I just created space for Tommy to be in that position," he said. "And God definitely had His hand in His plan to say, 'I am going to lead you through a challenging life and kick downs and losses.'"
A Tragic Beginning
Talking about his faith comes easy for Frank today. But his relationship with Christ started with a difficult loss, the death of his older brother Erik Ray Frank.
Erik Ray Frank played David Trueheart, alongside Jason, on "Power Rangers." Erik died in 2001, just months before turning 30.
Seeing his pain at that time, his wife invited him to church.
"I didn't really understand what the whole church thing was about and then" Frank said. "When I lost my brother it was like people were telling me I need God and all that stuff, and I was like, 'If one more person tells me that, then that is what it is.'"
The tattoo-covered super hero felt right at home at Crosby Church in Texas. Its pastor, Keenan Smith, helped start Team Impact, a group of traveling professional athletes wowing crowds with their exploits.
"I'm from Los Angeles, so this church is like cowboy boots. Pastor Keenan is breaking things and I was instantly attracted to him," Frank said, recalling his very first visit to the Texas church. "I was like yeah, this guy. We sparred. We wrestled. And he used that to attract people to church."
Today, the man behind the green mask does his part to attract people to a relationship with Christ through his massive social media network.
"I reach 5 million people in a week through Facebook and Instagram, and I am just blessed to do that," he said.
Jesus Didn't Tap
Frank also teamed up with fellow MMA fighter Patrick Hutton to start the first Christian-inspired line of MMA clothing and fight gear. It's called Jesus Didn't Tap.
"We came up with Jesus Didn't Tap. That means He didn't quit, He didn't give up - tap out," Frank said, explaining the message behind the name of his clothing line.
"He could have tapped, snapped anytime. He could have just called thousands and thousands of angels if he wanted to," he continued. "Tap out is an expression I can give mentally and physically, I give up, I give up. He never did that."
Following Christ's example, Frank has no plans of giving up either. He has his eyes on a Power Ranger movie; runs two karate schools; and shares his family life in a web and television series called "My Morphin Life."
"It is 24 hours in a day and I put as much passion into that day, so I can have a future," he said. "So when I did day-by-day and I was only hired for 10 episodes, I put all the passion into day by day."