After Cedric the Entertainer's TV Land comedic series "The Soul Man" broke records during its world premiere last week, the show's veteran actor John Beasley opened up to The Christian Post about his journey of faith leading him to his role as a retired minister on the show.
The new series, which serves as an unconventional brand of Christian comedy, managed to attract 1.9 million viewers to its premiere last Wednesday. Despite being TV Land's newest original sitcom, the network revealed that "The Soul Man" was its second-highest rated series premiere among adults 25-54.
While Beasley plays retired reverend Barton Ballentine on the show, the actor credits his faith in God for helping him land a part on the series.
"I think this project has strengthened my faith in God, this has been another blessing in my journey," Beasley told The Christian Post. "We don't preach but it's a comedy based around a church setting, it's just the blessing of being able to do what I am."
Although the 69-year-old actor has appeared in over 38 films along with popular television shows such as "Everwood" and "CSI" over the years, Beasley did not begin acting until he had reached his mid-40s. The actor, an Omaha, Neb., native, wanted to see his two children complete their college education before dealing with the stressful demands of embarking on a full-time acting career.
While Beasley provided for his wife and children as a Union Pacific Railroad worker, he said God made him a promise that would eventually lead to a successful acting career.
"I always felt that God had made me a promise that when I was ready, it would be provided for me," Beasley revealed to CP. "That's why when I left the Union Pacific Railroad I knew I had a promise from God that I could do this. I stepped out on faith that doors would open up and sure enough they did."
Beasley, who was raised as a Baptist and became a Lutheran later on in life, said he draws some inspiration for his character in "The Soul Man" from family members who were members of the church. Still, he feels all types of people can relate to the comedic series with Christian themes.
"I was telling my cousin how I had drawn from some of my relatives. I have an aunt who has a sense of humor and an uncle who is a preacher," Beasley said. "(But) anybody can relate to these themes. White, black, anybody can enjoy this humor because it deals with family situations."
The actor said the show finds a way to bring together family members from multiple generations while respecting the church with its comedy.
"This show brings back earlier shows where (a) family could sit down and watch the show together," he told CP. "There's respect among the generations and we do have multiple generations in this show. It's clean and done with respect to family and to the church."
The second episode of "The Soul Man" starring Beasley, Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash airs Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET on TV Land.