|Oprah Winfrey Links Present Success To Early Faith In God [VIDEO]
Article By Eboni Wilson/ Photo Credit: Stanford
Oprah Winfrey knows God is responsible for all her success.
This week, the 61-year-old media mogul told a Stanford University audience at Memorial Church, “I
grew up believing that I was indeed, for sure, God’s child.”
Winfrey’s reflections on faith, gratitude and love were shared with over 1,000 students, faculty and staff
during her “Harry’s Last Lecture on a Meaningful Life” speech. It is an annual address that honors the
late Stanford Law School Professor Harry Rathbun and is sponsored by Rathbun Fund in partnership
with the Office for Religious Life.
As a little girl attending weekly Sunday morning worship services, Winfrey said, “I’d always sit on the left-
hand side, the left pew on the second row, and I would listen to the preacher preach about ‘the Lord they
God is a loving God,’ and sometimes he would say ‘the Lord thy God is a jealous God.’ But most
importantly, I heard him say, ‘you are God’s child and through God all things are possible.’”
According to Winfrey, the small, modest facility with no electricity or running water was the place she
first received a bigger vision for her life.
“I literally took him at his word, so that, by the time I had to leave my grandmother, because she became
ill and I was sent to live in Milwaukee with my mother, who had two other children, I got beat up on the
playground, because when people would ask me, ‘Who’s your daddy?’ I would say, ‘Jesus is my daddy.
Sometimes he’s my brother and God is my Father.’”
Even though she says she has a deeper understanding of God today, Winfrey understands how important
it was for a “little colored girl in Mississippi, for whom there was no vision of hope or possibility,” to know
that she belonged to God.
Winfrey told the audience, her grandmother, who was a maid, hoped she would be one as well. “I hope
you get some good white folks when you grow up. I hope you get some good white folks that treat you
good,” her grandmother told her.
She then added, “So my grandmother would have no idea of the life that I now lead with good white folks
who are working for me. She just wouldn’t get it. She wouldn’t get it.”
The audience laughed.
Winfrey is the sixth person chosen as a Rathbun Visiting Fellow since the program began in 2008,
according to Stanford News.
The first five fellows were: retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; George P. Shultz,
former U.S. secretary of state, treasury secretary and labor secretary; Marian Wright Edelman, founder
of The Children's Defense Fund; His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama; and cartoonist Garry Trudeau.
At one point during the address, Winfrey asked the audience to pray with her.
"Open your heart and quietly to yourself say the only prayer that's ever needed: Thank you, thank you,
thank you," she said.
"You're still here. You get another chance this day to do better and be better, another chance to become
more of who you were created and what you're created to fulfill. Thank you. Amen."