From 'Sanford & Son' to DeFuniak: Demond Wilson keynotes Chautauqua

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 05:08 PM.

Demond Wilson, star of the iconic trend-setting TV show of the 1970s, "Sanford & Son," will trace his journey from the TV screen to the pulpit as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Florida Chautauqua Assembly in DeFuniak Springs.

"God still calls people," Wilson told The Sun during a phone interview. "I was called from birth. From the time I was a little child I had a God consciousness. Being in the ministry is a calling, not a vocation."

Wilson told The Sun he will speak about his background and how the "Sanford & Son" series changed the TV industry. The "Sanford & Son" series, starring Wilson and Redd Fox, ran from 1972-1977, and represented a breakthrough for African American actors.

However, Wilson looks back on that time with bittersweet memories.

Wilson 's role as Lamont Sanford is the role for which he is best known.

Wilson ’s journey to the TV stage and ministry began with service in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from 1966-1968. He is a decorated veteran.

"It's something I don't like to talk about," he said.

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