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The King of Cool meets the King of Kings

Steve McQueen was a sixties actor nicknamed the “King of Cool.” McQueen was famous for such films as Bullitt, The Great Escape, and Papillon. He had a painful childhood, with a string of abusive stepfathers who beat him, locked him in cupboards, and generally made his life hell. Unsurprisingly, he ran away from home with a deep-seated anger, and a broken spirit. When he became successful, he used alcohol, and a string of relationships to fill the dark void that his childhood had left.

In his early years, he had no time for religion, but in his later years, he was intrigued by the man who was teaching him to fly. There was something about him. Eventually he asked this man why he was different. He seemed to have peace. The man explained that he was a follower of Jesus. McQueen was hooked. One Sunday morning he told his wife to put on her best clothes--they were going to church. They started going to their local Baptist church, and eventually Steve became a Christian.

Steve then contracted cancer and needed reassurance in his faith so he contacted Billy Graham to ask to meet with him. Billy came and spent time with him, prayed for him and shared some scriptures to encourage him. In the clinic Steve sought to tell as many people as he could about Jesus. One day the nurse walked into his room and found he had passed away from a massive heart attack. On his chest, lay the Bible that Billy Graham had gifted to him, open at John 3:16. In his final days he wanted to tell everyone about his faith in Jesus.

You can watch the YouTube clip here.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Steve McQueen’s story reminds us that whatever dark places we have been through, God can redeem us. Whatever wealth and fame we might have, we are empty without God.


Greg Laurie, “Steve McQueen – The Salvation of An American Icon” YouTube (8-28-16)

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