Tyler Perry is an American success story. The 48-year-old went from a homeless, struggling playwright to an entertainment mogul with his own 330-acre film and TV production studio, built on a former Confederate Army military base in Atlanta. His latest, Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, is the 10th movie in Tyler Perry’s highly successful Madea franchise. The multi-millionaire is also the mastermind behind 19 theatrical releases, 20 plays and seven TV shows. As an actor Perry has appeared in several films, including his lead role in the 2012 thriller Alex Cross, and he is featured in the animated Christmas film The Star, along with Oprah Winfrey and Tracy Morgan.
In his aptly titled new book, Higher is Waiting, Perry shares a collection of inspirational personal stories and spiritual lessons. The book also includes details of the “unthinkable” abuse he endured as a child at the hands of his father.
“For him, having a third-grade education and the difficulties that he went through as a child growing up, he had no references to be a father,” Perry said of his father. “He was a wounded man trying to raise a wounded child.”
The New Orleans native said that through his faith he’s been able to forgive, and he credits his mother for giving him that faith.
“She believed in God, she believed in Jesus, she would take me to church and I’m grateful for it because what I know this day is that if you don’t give your children something to turn to, they’re going to turn to something in hard times. So for me, the gift she gave me was the gift of God,” he said.
In the spiritual guidebook he urges people to trust their “soul GPS.”
“Just like when you get in a car, you put your navigation in to where you want to go. There’s a satellite above you that’s guiding you. You don’t know how you’re gonna get there,” he said. “It’s the same way with prayer and faith and for your dreams. You put that into what is your soul’s navigation and let God be the guide.”