Photos that a handsome Canadian Christian actor posted online of himself after preaching have gone viral, attracting hundreds of comments of admiration for his appearance—as well as skepticism that a “man of God” would use social media to post “thirst traps”—sexually suggestive photos meant to entice viewers. However, the actor tells Faithfully Magazine that he is the real deal, and can’t help it if God blessed him with good looks.
“When I was younger I didn’t really have confidence,” Demien R., as he asked to be referenced, said during a September 4 phone call with Faithfully Magazine. After enduring harsh criticism at the age of 14 or 15, he resolutely told himself: “You know what? I look good. I am not ugly. God made me the way I am.”
Demien, in his early 20s and a full-time theater major living in Montreal, is obviously not the only man of God with good looks. The Dominican-Haitian actor who speaks three langues (English, French Creole, and Spanish) finds plenty of company in the Bible.
The Old Testament describes several men as good looking. For example, before he is anointed future king of Israel, David is described as having “beautiful eyes and a healthy, handsome appearance” (1 Sam 16:12). The monarch apparently passed on his good looks to his sons, for the Bible says of Absalom: “from the sole of his foot to the top of his head, he did not have a single flaw” (2 Sam 14:25).
The photos he posts online, Demien said, “prove to people that you can be a Christian and also look and dress nice and that you don’t have to look boring.”
Preaching With His ‘Chest Out?’
“I haven’t seen alot [sic] of people talking about this but I do want to make this clear: when I was up there and preaching, I had my shirt buttoned up, do not think I went to speak on the Lord’s behalf with my chest out. The pictures were taken after,” he clarified in a follow-up tweet after the post-preaching photos in question went viral.
In the double-photo tweet, the man of God can be seen sitting inside of a vehicle with his white dress shirt slightly undone. In one shot, he holds his head as if overwhelmed or in deep contemplation; in the second shot, he stares pensively into the camera.
The caption: “Preached for the first time in front of 130 people, I give all glory to God.”
As Demien explained to an apparent friend among the replies to his tweet, “I got asked 2 days before and said no. I was just supposed to give my testimony and the spirit switched that testimony into a sermon. I still can’t believe I preached, but I give glory to God for it, I’m glad I did what I did.”
Preached for the first time in front of 130 people, I give all glory to God pic.twitter.com/sYLDtwcuyG
— Dæmien Versace (@fkgpv) September 1, 2020
Not surprisingly, many of the replies to his tweet didn’t reflect much interest in his sermon, but rather in the fact that he looks like Joseph—described in the Bible as “well-built and handsome” (Gen. 39:6). A few Twitter users did, however, reference religion to shoot their shot, or make a bold move.
“I just so happen to be reading the book of Numbers and realized I didn’t have yours,” one woman commented.
“I present myself as a Proverbs 31 woman to you my king,” read another tweet by a woman suggesting that she matched the Bible’s description of a virtuous woman or ideal wife.
“He look[s] like he need[s] a First Lady! Lord order my steps,” read another excited reply.
Some men even asked for the name of Demien’s church—so they can keep their wives away.
However, there were several skeptics among his admirers.
“And [you] publish thirst pics on Twitter. This is why church is such a turn off,” one woman commented.
“The comments in this thread is [sic] sad … and he likes the glory… let’s be real… posting pics like this smh,” wrote one woman whose Twitter bio states “Jesus is Lord!”
“No bible in sight. I’m sure this really is all about God,” read another skeptical tweet.
In his interview with Faithfully Magazine, Demien sounded offended that anyone would doubt the sincerity of his faith. “With God I do not play,” he insisted.
Jesus Is Number One
“I truly am a man of God. I’m not a wolf in a good man’s clothing,” he told us, a slight accent apparent as he spoke. “I do serve the Lord, like truly with all my heart, and Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He is my number one priority in life.”
The actor, who was featured in a McDonald’s commercial last year, credits his grandmother, who is a pastor, with making Christianity a big part of his life.
As Demien tells it, he spent a lot of time in his grandmother’s small church as a youth, but in high school fell in with the wrong crowd. “You know, when people say, ‘Oh, I love God,’ but they do ungodly things?” he said.
“I stumbled into sin. But Jesus, he really got me into the right path and I thank him for that,” he said.
A scan of Demien’s Twitter profile, where he has more than 10,000 followers, reveals another set of popular pinned photos, as well as encouraging tweets with Bible quotes and statements reflecting his faith.
“Giving your life to Christ I must admit that sometimes it feels lonely, you go out less, you have fewer friends but in the end, I promise you its [sic] worth it. When you walk with God, everything you lose gets tripled in the end and everything works out in your favor,” he tweeted on June 8.
His Instagram profile is almost exclusively images of him styling and profiling for the camera. A handful of photos show him topless, emphasizing his muscular physique. Among the pics of his pecs are a few posts highlighting his commercial work and time spent with friends. While he insists he’s celibate and does not have a “secret girlfriend,” some photo captions on the site suggest that may not have always been the case.
Living His Dream
“I’ve always liked posing for pictures out of fun,” Demien said when asked about his online galleries. “When I was younger, I always had people telling me that I should model because they thought that I had what it took for it. But personally, I didn’t really see it. In my mind, I just knew how to take good pictures to post for my social media but not to actually make a living out of it.”
But things changed in 2016 when he signed with an agency. What had once been his side hustle, became a career. In addition to being featured in commercials, Demien has landed roles in a handful of movie and television projects.
Although Demien says he feels like he is living out his dream as an actor and credits God with helping to realize it, he would walk away from it all if he felt called into the ministry.
“You know, if one day He told me that He wants me to quit acting, it’s gonna hurt,” he admitted. “It’s gonna hurt because it’s my dream. But I know that God has no intention of seeing me suffer. If He wants something for me, I know that it’s the best and the right thing for me.”
Read the new issue of Faithfully Magazine... Featuring Brenda Salter McNeil, Stuart Greaves, Irwyn Ince, Michael McBride, Traci Blackmon, Dwight McKissic, Van Moody, JeVon Bolden, Heather T. Day.