Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis got on her knees and prayed that God would bring a man into her life who encapsulated all the qualities she was looking for in a husband. Three weeks later, this man invited her to church.
Davis married Julius Tennon in 2003, and he was everything she prayed for. The “Fences” actress sat down with Oprah for an interview where she said that after being advised by a friend to pray for God to bring her a husband who possessed all of the attributes she knew would complement her, even to the smallest of details, that is what she did.
“He said, ‘Viola, even the vacuous stuff, just put it all in there. Looks, everything,’” Davis recalled in a clip for the upcoming “Oprah + Viola: A Netflix Special Event.” “I said, ‘Really? With God? I gotta tell Him that?’” Davis illustrated of her conversation. “He's like, ‘Yes. You gotta put it all out there.’ He was like, ‘Be careful.’”
She continued, “And I went and I got on my knees, and I did. I said I want a big black man from the South who's probably been married before, has kids — because I don't want any pressure in that department.”
The Triple Crown of Acting recipient then detailed the list of other qualities she was looking for in a husband.
“Someone who has maybe been an actor who understands the artistic community. Someone who goes to church and loves God,” she rattled off.
“I said, ‘If you give me that, I'll start going to church, God. I really will. I'm committed to it.’ And then I signed off," she said, describing how she ended her prayer just as she would a letter.
Three-and-a-half weeks later, Davis met the man she asked God to bring into her life: Julius Tennon.
"I met Julius from Texas. Ex-football player, been married, raised his children on his own, was an actor,” she gushed. Then Tennon invited her to church. "And I thought to myself, 'Whoa.'"
Tennon's 11-year-old daughter, Genesis, was another answer to her prayer that God would bring a man into her life who already had children.
In recent years, David and Tennon have teamed up to create inspirational content as part of JuVee Productions. They signed on as executive producers for the documentary "Emanuel," which tells the story of the 2015 mass shooting during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The shooter, Dylann Roof, killed nine people after the closing prayer at the Bible study.
"That evening, a routine Bible study at Emanuel Church was a soft target based solely on the racial profile of the congregation. We, along with the country, grieved each family's loss,” Davis and Tennon shared in a statement at the time.
Upon winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in "Fences," in 2017, the actress pointed to God in her acceptance speech.
"I became an artist — and thank God I did — because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life," she said.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic