Kanye West ‘in service to God not fame and money'
Rapper Kanye West has told parishioners at Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch that because of his recent spiritual awakening he is no longer in the service of fame and money but “in service to God.”
West spoke to a packed crowd of about 16,000 people during Lakewood Church’s 11am service on Sunday.
During a 20-minute interview on the church’s stage with Osteen, West talked about his recent conversion to Christianity and how God has been inspiring him.
“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.
He said that at his lowest point, when he was taken to hospital in 2016 after a “mental breakdown”, God “was there with me, sending me visions, inspiring me”.
Last month, West released a Gospel-themed album, Jesus is King.
West was also 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.
West has been travelling around the US holding his Sunday Service concerts since January, including at the Coachella festival, an outdoor shopping centre 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 “all of that arrogance” that people had seen in him, he is “now using it for God”.
“The only superstar is Jesus,” West said as the crowd applauded loudly.
Lakewood Church, where more than 43,000 people attend services each week, has become the largest church in the US.
It holds services at the former Compaq Centre, which was once the home of the Houston Rockets.
Osteen’s weekly television programme is viewed by more than 13 million households in the US and millions more in more than 100 nations around the world.
The rapper’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, and their daughter North West joined him at the church on Sunday.