With a background in journalism, Julie Chen Moonves enjoyed a successful career as host of “Big Brother” and former moderator of “The Talk.” However, she knew something was missing as she “spent the first 48 years of her life ignoring God,” and she’s now speaking out about her spiritual awakening and newfound faith.
“We are living in dark times, and it is in the darkest times in the darkest situations that the light shines the brightest. It is the easiest to see the light,” she told CBN Digital.
Moonves continued, “So many of us know that the only way we can wake up each morning with purpose is to have hope. And if you don’t have God in your life, how do you live with hope?”
‘I…Found Jesus,’ Shares ‘Big Brother’ Host Julie Chen Moonves
“When I finally found Jesus in 2018, I had never owned a Bible,” she said. “And I was gifted one from a friend who was one of my favorite cameramen working in TV news.” That cameraman, who later became a pastor in Boston, continued to help Moonves on her journey to faith.
Her journey continued to be a season of searching. Equipped with a Bible, Moonves “found it very daunting and intimidating and very big.” She decided to listen to an audio version, but she could only find the King James Version, which sounded a bit Shakespearean. She contacted publisher Simon & Schuster and offered to record a reading the New International Version for free. But the publisher had other ideas and invited Moonves to record an audio memoir, “But First, God.”
Moonves started “church shopping” and began attending a Presbyterian church. “I found the sermons very easy to understand,” she said. “And then it started with Bible study classes. It started with YouTube videos from a wonderful Bible teacher.”
Faith wasn’t a strong part of her childhood. When Moonves’ mom was 17, she converted to Catholicism. Moonves’ grandmother was a practicing Buddhist. Moonves recounted that her grandmother said to her mother, “I never wanted to choose your religion for you because I chose on my own.”
During the pandemic, Moonves turned to short devotionals by Billy Graham and weekly Bible studies via Zoom. She reflected, “When the pandemic hit and I was at home all day, that’s when I had the time to really dedicate to delving into the Word.”
Faithwire reported that it was during this time that Moonves’ father unexpectedly passed away. While grieving, Moonves’ mother moved in with her for six months. The two began to spend more time together reading Scripture and discussing God’s truths.
“That’s when I really started to understand who God is, and who I am, and why I’m here, and how he has blessed me all my life while I was ignoring him,” said Moonves, reflecting on the many blessings, jobs, and platforms God had provided. He was the one driving Moonves’ “career so that I could get to where I am today to use any and every platform, being a public figure, and declaring Jesus my Lord and Savior.”
“One of the big things I learned is: If you do not declare publicly…who he is to you or what he has done for you, why should he go before God the Father when…my time is up here on Earth?” she said. “So, I have to stand firm, and say it loud, and say it proud, what he has done for me and who he is.”