February 10, 2021 : By Jacob Couch - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Actor, artist, and youth pastor Kel Mitchell was the featured guest for Wednesday morning’s Convocation via a pre-recorded Zoom interview, where he shared experiences from his entertainment career from an early age and wisdom from his faith walk.
“Being an ambassador for Christ is very important to me,” Mitchell said. “That’s first, and I always talk about putting Him in everything in my life.”
The morning’s conversation with Liberty’s Senior Vice President for Spiritual Development David Nasser began with Mitchell telling Nasser about his childhood in Chicago, which is when he first fell in love with the art of acting and performing. Mitchell’s love for being in front of a crowd soon led to the young talent being selected to model on the back of the Captain Crunch cereal box.
“As I was doing theatre and was putting on these shows I had the opportunity where I got to model which was pretty cool,” he said.
Mitchel said that after the boxes were available on store shelves, everyone in his neighborhood area wanted time with him, but it was not just his peers who thought he was gifted as he was signed not long after to be a regular cast member on the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series, “All That.”
But Mitchell is quick to remind young fans and aspiring performers that his arrival to the big stage was not without hard work and determination.
“It wasn’t like I started theatre and then, boom, I was on television,” he said. “It was a lot of auditions and the audition process.”
Mitchell said that due to the incredible opportunities he was afforded, he had to begin making mature descions at a young age before he was on the show.
“In school I didn’t really have time to goof off because I was like, ‘Okay I’ve got this job I have to go to after school.’”
During his time in after-school theatre, Mitchell was discovered by the agent who guided him to his television career.
“When I got discovered by the agent he started taking me on all these different auditions,” Mitchell said. “You win some and you lose some and you have to stay consistent with it.”
Mitchell said that “All That” was an exciting opportunity for him to become friends with actors and musical guests whom he had always admired, and this unique opportunity to meet and befriend some of the industry’s finest has continued over the course of his career.
In 2019, Mitchell continued his television career when he was the runner-up on NBC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”
While Mitchell has made an incredible career out of being a world renowned celebrity, staying true to being a man of God is what he values most. He says that after seeing so many people in the entertainment industry battle with mental health he has grown in his desire and passion to help young people through youth ministry.
“I would be doing people a disservice if I didn’t let people know how I made it through certain times,” he said.
Even in his own life, Mitchell said that he has experienced seasons of discouragement but has learned that every emotional hardship has a light in it and that light of Christ is what one has to focus on to push through temptations to focus on negativity.
“That’s what the enemy wanted was for me to put a wall over my life and to just focus on all the problems of the world and the things that I was going through,” he said.
Mitchell reminded students that every career has its rough days and seasons but a life dedicated to the cause of Christ is the key to contentment, hope, and joy.
“Even in troubled times and in good times, the Lord (is) there.”