Chynna Phillips Baldwin talked about how she came to faith in Christ, how she became distracted and backslid in Hollywood, and how God restored her to represent Him in showbiz in an interview with Eric Metaxas on The Eric Metaxas Radio Show.
It was a pleasant conversation with Eric throwing banter at Chynna's husband Billy while they dug into her background to find out when she first became a Christian.
Before delving into her conversion story, she said: "Yeah, I'm extreme for Jesus, that's for sure. I love Jesus Christ, and the reason I am so outspoken for Jesus is because I had a very radical conversion, which I want to tell you about."
Chynna explained that it all began when she took chocolate milk from the cafeteria cart at her Redeemer Baptist school. She was bullied at her previous school, so she persuaded her mother to move her to a different one.
Some schoolgirls caught her red-handed. She handed them her 25 cents, but they rejected and asked if she wanted to embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior. She decided to just go along with what they wanted, so they proceeded to the school's restroom, where she was handed a salvation card. The girls requested that she read the words written on the back of the card. She was 12 years old at the time.
"Of course, I wasn't expecting anything to happen at all, and I started reading the words out loud and as I started reading the words, this whole new scan started to happen. It started with from my head all the way down my face down my chest down my arms down my stomach down my abdomen area down my will the stomach is the abdomen down my hips down my legs all the way..."
"This is called the baptism in the Holy Spirit," cuts in Eric, perhaps due to excitement. "That's what that was. You realize that but I mean, that's stunning because a lot of people pray stuff, and they believe it, but nothing happens. Sometimes, stuff happens, not always but you were really particularly blessed. The idea that that happened to you that you could feel God's presence..."
Agreeing that it was the Holy Spirit, Chynna's convinced that it was He who convicted her that what she was reading was the truth.
"And as if the Holy scan is happening and I'm feeling the holy fire of God goes through my body, I'm becoming paralyzed. I can't speak. I finish saying the last sentence on the card, and I can't move or speak, and the girls, look at me and they're like, 'Are you okay?' And I'm going like this, nodding my head. No words will come out. I'm literally paralyzed by the Holy Spirit. I cannot speak, and they all start laughing at me, and they leave the bathroom. And I'm left in the bathroom, holding this card by myself," she recalled.
Even though she knew that she had just become a child of God, Chynna's family were not Christians yet. She had no one to disciple her and thus, her budding faith was stunted for several years until she reached adulthood and began a career as a singer in Hollywood.
Chynna took a break from the spotlight after a few years to start a family with her husband. Her childhood encounter with God's presence took place again in 2004, when she was drawn to the sounds of praying in the kitchen. She noticed her nieces being prayed for. Chynna asked the praying team to place their hands on her, describing it as an "impression" in her heart.
"I walked into the kitchen and I said, Stephen, Kenya, whatever you're doing to them you need to do to me," she said.
She compared the experience to what she had in the girls' bathroom when she was 12 years old.
Here's what she did after that manifestation: "I got right up from the table. I went right out to my front door. I grabbed the Buddha. The wooden Buddha that I spent $1,000 on I think, and I grabbed the thing, wrapped it in a towel, duct taped it as hard as I could, throw it in my garage, and I walked into the kitchen and I said, 'I'm done. I'm sold out. Jesus is my Lord. Jesus is my Savior. I'm never going back. He owns me. It's over. I am a Christian. I'm a born-again Christian. I'm in love with Jesus. I will do anything for Jesus. I give it all up to him.'"
"And from that day forward, I've been serving the Lord as best as I possibly can," she continued.
Today, Chynna has a new YouTube channel, which she claims she started because God told her to.
Her channel, called "California Preachin'" is a spin-off of "California Dreamin'."
"Basically, I'm not a pastor," was her disclaimer. "I'm just one of the sheep, and in my YouTube channel, it's basically just me on my everyday walk with the Lord. Day to day. The good days. The bad days. The days I'm crying hysterically. It's like a Christian reality show."
Further in the interview, she shared that after 10 episodes, she felt that something was off, so she prayed to God for direction.
"I was like angry and he said, 'Strip it down, make it raw, be yourself. Don't read off a teleprompter, just roll camera.' And I was like, oh no, this is scary."
Nonetheless, she obeyed and to her amazement, everything worked smoothly since then.
"My subscriber-ship picked up so fast because when people see authenticity, when people see the truth, when people see your real personality...and you know when they really can feel your heart, and feel your raw... then people start to identify and then people start to feel a connection," she added.