Anderson native Chadwick Boseman stars as the Black Panther: Local pastor reacts

Chadwick Boseman (Source: AP)

(NOTE: FOX Carolina is owned by Meredith Corporation, which also owns Time magazine)

Marvel's latest Blockbuster "Black Panther" is hitting the big screen in just a few days. Chadwick Boseman, who plays the title character, recently made the cover of Time magazine.

Boseman is a native of the Upstate, born and raised in Anderson. Pastor Samuel Neely, retired from Welfare Baptist Church said he's known the Black Panther star since he was born.

"Even though he plays these different people, I still see the person I knew as a child," Pastor Neely said. "When I see him, it's almost like seeing my own child, he's still Chad."

This pastor said he baptized Boseman and watched him mature into an adult. Neely said the arts were always a part of Boseman, singing in the church choir and producing plays since the time he was in high school.

"He's always been a focused guy, he knew what he wanted and he was going after it," Neely said.

Neely said many around the Upstate are excited to see this Black Panther on the big screen because they know the real person, the qualities that make him Chad.

"He did a lot of positive things within the church and within the community. With him singing in the choir, with him working the youth group, he always was doing something, always helping out, always serving.That was his personality."

Despite being away from his southern roots, Neely said Boseman always keeps his faith close.

Millions may see the Black Panther and most will just see the award winning actor. Here in the Upstate, they'll see traces of Chad, the South Carolina boy who followed a dream and made it happen.

"I just seen him mature, and blossom into a man. And he's doing an excellent job."

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