Home Christian News ‘Star Trek’ Star Nichelle Nichols Trusted Jesus After Listening to Martin Luther...

‘Star Trek’ Star Nichelle Nichols Trusted Jesus After Listening to Martin Luther King Jr., Says Evangelist

nichelle nichols
Nichelle Nichols speaking at the 2013 Phoenix Comicon at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nichelle Nichols, known for playing Lieutenant Uhura on “Star Trek” passed away from heart failure Saturday, July 30, at age 89 in Silver City, New Mexico. Dylan Novak, who has a ministry evangelizing to celebrities, says that Nichols died knowing Jesus as her savior.

“I’m saddened by the news of Nichelle Nichols passing away, but I am thankful to know where she put her faith and trust,” said Novak in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Nichelle Nichols: Her Legacy and Testimony

Nichelle Nichols was a trailblazer as one of the first Black women to play a leading role on television. When considering leaving “Star Trek” at one point to do theater, Nichols was convinced to stay by none other than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King told Nichols that he and his family were her greatest fans and that “Star Trek” was the only show that he and his wife allowed their children to stay up and watch. When Nichols told King she was considering leaving “Star Trek,” he urged her to stay, saying that in her role she was elevating the dignity of Black Americans. 

Nichols stayed and had another significant moment when she and William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk, participated in what is considered to be the first interracial kiss on television. Nichols went on to take other acting roles and later recruited women and minorities for NASA.

But what were her religious beliefs? Dylan Novak is a preacher who works full-time sharing the gospel with celebrities through his ministry, Celebrity Evangelist. “Sharing the Gospel with Hollywood is a forgotten mission field, and a much needed one,” says Novak on his website. “Since this ministry began, God has opened the door for me to share the Gospel with over 700 celebrities, and several life changing decisions have been made!”

Novak told ChurchLeaders that he had met Nichols at the Fanboy Expo in Knoxville, Tennessee, and that he had given her the “typical gift” he gives when he meets celebrities. The gift included a Bible, gospel tracts from Lifeway, a book called “GASP!” written by his friend Tony Nolan, and a letter explaining the gospel

Novak had researched Nichols’ beliefs ahead of time and knew she had a Presbyterian background, but wasn’t sure where she was spiritually. When he gave her the gift, he told her that he was a follower of Jesus and had come to meet her because “I love and care about your soul.”

Nichols first pulled out the Bible and expressed gratitude because she had been looking for a Bible that was travel-sized. When Novak explained why he had come with the gift, Nichols got emotional and said Novak was the first fan she remembered caring about her eternal destiny. 

Novak said she told him, “No fan has ever cared about my eternal life before,” and said that “she went on to share her testimony of coming to know Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior.”

It turns out that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a significant influence on Nichols’ religious beliefs as well as on her career. Novak said Nichols told him that she had been a huge fan of King and had heard him speak many times. At one of those speeches, King presented the gospel and that, said Novak, is when Nichols “accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and savior.”