Sunday, December 8, 2019

Kanye West addresses Joel Osteen's church: I'm 'in service to God'

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Kanye West addressed parishioners at Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch on Sunday where he said his recent spiritual awakening has made him realize he’s no longer in the service of fame and money but “in service to God.”

West spoke to a crowd of around 16,000 people at Lakewood Church’s 11 a.m. service.

During a 20-minute interview with Osteen before about 16,000 Lakewood Church parishioners, West told the packed crowd about his recent conversion to Christianity and how God has been inspiring him.

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“I know that God has been calling me for a long time and the devil has been distracting me for a long time,” West said as he stood next to Osteen.

The rapper shared that at his lowest point, when he was hospitalized in 2016 after a “mental breakdown,” God “was there with me, sending me visions, inspiring me.”

Last month, West released “Jesus is King,” a Gospel-themed album that’s been described as Christian rap.

Recording artist Kanye West, right, and wife Kim Kardashian West attend The Fashion Group International's annual "Night of Stars" gala at Cipriani Wall Street on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in New York. (AP)

West also was scheduled to perform Sunday evening at Lakewood with his “Sunday Service,” a church-like concert featuring a choir. Tickets for the free concert were distributed through Ticketmaster and sold out within minutes on Saturday, though some people have been reselling them for hundreds of dollars.

KANYE WEST’S SUNDAY SERVICE HAD ‘OVER 1,000’ COMMIT THEIR LIVES TO CHRIST: ‘NEW WAVE OF REVIVAL’

West has been traveling around the U.S. holding his “Sunday Service” concerts since January, including at the Coachella festival, an outdoor shopping center in Salt Lake City and at an Atlanta-area megachurch.

On Friday, he and his choir performed for inmates at the Harris County Jail in Houston.

During Sunday’s appearance, West touched on a variety of topics, including religion, the perils of fame and money and going to church as a child. He also talked about how he used to approach things, telling parishioners that “all of that arrogance” that people had seen in him, he is “now using it for God.”

West performs during 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 20, 2019 in Indio, California.

West performs during 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 20, 2019 in Indio, California. (Timothy Norris/Getty Images for Coachella)

“The only superstar is Jesus,” West said as the crowd applauded loudly.

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Lakewood Church, where more than 43,000 people attend services each week, has become the largest church in the U.S. It holds services at the former Compaq Center, which was once the home of the Houston Rockets.

Osteen’s weekly television program is viewed by more than 13 million households in the U.S. and millions more in more than 100 nations around the world.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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