TV celebrity Cynthia Garrett has revealed how God led her to faith from a jail cell and later told her to marry her husband.
Cynthia who presents The London Sessions with Cynthia Garrett on the TBN Network, was the first African-American woman to front a late-night network show – Later with Cynthia Garrett.
She became a Hollywood favourite and is a former host of the Grammy and Emmy Awards, but her road to fame was a rocky one after a whirlwind romance and marriage when she was 26 to a man who told her he was a Serbian model.
Cynthia told Woman Alive: “He was very good-looking, so I believed him. I found out he was using this as a cover and was part of an organisation trafficking drugs around the world to buy arms for the Serbian civil war. He had a clear agenda to use me to get entrance into Hollywood.
“Even on honeymoon he was getting more and more abusive. I started asking questions about what he was doing, and he said he would kill me.
“The police had been watching my ex, and when we went to pick up two packages of cocaine, which I had thrown away, armed military police surrounded us. We spent two days being interrogated. I was put into prison.”
In isolation in jail, she had a dream.
“A woman appeared to me. I remember thinking she was a nun. She looked exactly like my grandmother. I could see her hair was dark, but she had a habit on.
“In the dream, she held out a book to me, which said, ‘Good News’. She said: ‘Do you know what this is?’ I replied ‘No’, then she said: ‘This is God’s word, and he’s going to send it to you. If you read it, and commit your life to it, he’ll save you’.”
Cynthia awoke and, soon after, was told she had a visitor.
“A woman wearing all white and a nun’s habit arrived. She looked exactly like the angel in my dream.
“She had a book in her hand. She held it out to me and said: ‘Do you know what this is?’ I looked at the book, and it had The Good News Bible on it. She said: ‘This is God’s word and this is for you. If you read it, he’ll save you.’ I cried and cried.”
Cynthia says “God’s favour followed my secular career”. It was about to move in her personal life, too, during a flight, when the passenger next to her declared: ‘I do not know how you’re reading the Bible and looking so miserable. You need to know Jesus loves you.’ I broke down in tears. I don’t think I really knew that Jesus loved me.
“Roger and I ended up having a five-and-a-half-hour Bible study from Los Angeles to Philadelphia.”
The couple became friends before God stepped in again.
“The Lord told me: ‘This is your husband.’ I heard it audibly.
“We got married in 2010. We dated for four years, completely celibate. We wanted that testimony. It was because of Roger that I had the opportunity to say to everyone in Hollywood: ‘I am done for a season; I want to be a wife and a mom.’
“In that period, God really taught me a lot about ministry and about going back to the study of the Word. At the end of that five-year season, God opened the door for me to launch into ministry at TBN UK.”
Cynthia Garrett Ministries is at cynthiagarrett.org