Over the weekend, Kanye West surprised inmates in Houston, Texas with gospel-filled worship services.
“This is a mission, not a show,” he told the audience, as reported by CBN.
Ahead of his conversation with Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church in Houston, West visited the Harris County Jail and performed for both the men and the women from his ‘Jesus is King’ album. Around 200 male prisoners showed up to the service, lifting their hands and singing along. As the gospel choir sang, the rapper embraced the men in orange jumpsuits and led them in prayer.
The women experienced the same service after the men. Many of them were in tears as the choir sang over them.
“It really was like a worship service,” said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales. “Very uplifting not only for the inmates that are in here—you can see some who were down on their knees in prayer—to even some of our teammates who were brought to tears.”
Although the jail hosts several faith-based events, Gonzales said West’s appearance was the largest to date.
Public Affairs Director for the Sheriff’s Office, Jason Spencer, attended the event and tweeted pictures of inmates on their knees.
“Say what you want about the man, but Kanye West and his choir brought some light to people who needed it today at the Harris County Jail,” he said.
A few days later, West shared his story with Osteen from the stage.
“I know that God’s been calling me for a long time, and the devil has been distracting me for a long time. When I was at my lowest points, God was there with me inspiring me and sending me visions,” he said. “Every time I stand up, I am drawing a line in the sand and saying I’m here in service of God.”
His wife, Kim Kardashian West, and daughter, North, also joined him on the stage at the end of his interview, according to People.
Photo courtesy: Jason Spencer
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.