The Hollywood “power couple,” as Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin called them before they were introduced onstage, spoke largely of their love for each other, how they have managed to maintain a strong and lasting relationship, and the merits of abstinence before marriage.
The crowd ate it up.
On Saturday night, film actress Meagan Good and movie producer DeVon Franklin addressed a near-capacity crowd for the program “True to Yourself” at Seabrook Auditorium on the campus of Fayetteville State University.
Through the course of the evening, the married couple gave their Christian-centered take on sex, the benefits of exercise, and how to remain one of God’s devout followers while working in Hollywood with its longstanding Sodom and Gomorrah reputation.
Their onstage chat, moderated by the Rev. Brian R. Thompson of Simon Temple AME Zion Church, helped kick off Black History Month, which runs through the end of February.
“I really enjoyed it. It was a life-changing experience,” said Richelle Jones, 36, a guidance counselor at Pine Forest High School. She attended the presentation with 10 of the school’s students.
An in-demand preacher and motivational speaker, Franklin is recognized as an authority on spirituality and faith. As a result, the hour-and-45-minute program was steeped in heavy religious thought. Not only from the 42-year-old Franklin, but from his wife, Meagan, 39, who has appeared in such movies as “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” “Venom,” “Saw V” and the 2019 DC Comics’ superhero film “Shazam!”
“I think a lot of times we — on the outside looking in — are curious and fascinated,” Thompson said, as he faced Good and Franklin center stage. The couple sat close together on a cushioned loveseat.
“It’s a good thing to know that y’all are so grounded,” Thompson said. “That you’re still human. You have lives. You have an (attraction) to one another. There is a love story. There is something that happened and then you’re able to say, ‘Not mine will, but thine will be done.’ ”On Thompson’s question: With the way God put you together, and the tremendous success both of you have had, how do you truly stay grounded with all the opportunities? Whether it be material, whether it be flesh, whether it be career. How do you stay grounded?
Good fielded that one first, replying, “The biggest thing is that it’s about God. Period. Point blank. We don’t want this industry or anything that can offer us more than God. And God is first, then you’re conceding your husband or wife is second before everything else. So for us, we go in that order: God. Us. And everything else falls in line.”
Franklin, also a best-selling author, co-wrote his second book, “The Wait,” with Good. So onstage, they paralleled the gist of the book by sharing their personal love story and the message that waiting until marriage can help a person discover who they are meant to be.
And the wait, as Franklin repeatedly drove home the point, can transform a relationship. Together, they talked about finding true love through celibacy.
Franklin said he was raised in the church and was taught from an early age to stay celibate. “I made a decision as a kid,” he said, “I’m going to wait until I’m married.”
To some titters, he noted, “It didn’t make me a great date.”
“We are not above anybody,” Franklin said. “It’s a blessing God uses us.”
Thompson then quipped to an auditorium of laughter, “It’s alright to be a copycat if you’re copying the right cat.”
The third annual “True to Yourself,” a Black History Month talk series, was sponsored by The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and Piedmont Natural Gas.
Staff writer Michael Futch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-486-3529.