Rapper Kanye West opened up about his spiritual journey on Sunday. During a visit to pastor Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, the superstar said he was now working "in service to God."
"I know that God's been calling me for a long time and the devil's been distracting me for a long time," said the rapper of the hit Christian hip-hop album "Jesus is King." West added that God "was there with me, sending me visions and inspiring me," after the artist was hospitalized in 2016 after a mental health scare.
"The greatest artist that God has ever created" now works for Jesus
With his wife Kim Kardashian West, and their daughter, North West, in the front row of the megachurch that was packed with 16,000 attendees, Kanye West told Osteen that his Christian faith has helped him overcome his "arrogance and cockiness."
West also seemed to lament the spiritual state of the entertainment industry. "It's like the devil stole all the good producers, all the good musicians, all the good artists, all the good designers, all the good business people and now the shift is going to change."
At one point, the artist smiled and remarked that "Jesus has won the victory," adding "I told you about my arrogance and cockiness already. Now the greatest artist that God has ever created is now working for him." Presumably, the comment was partially made in self-depreciating jest.
Attendees at Osteen's service told ABC News they found West's conversion to Christianity to be sincere. At the service was Jose Gonzalez, a 25-year-old who said "I don't see why it would not be genuine. Especially with someone with his platform that talks about God and love and unity, it can get really shut down unfairly."
"We are a Christian country"
Media reports say that West addressed a wide range of issues at Osteen's Sunday service, including the nation's religious life. "We are a Christian country," the artist reportedly said. "When you remove the fear and love of God, you create fear and love of everything else," West added.
West's appearance at Osteen's church follows a surprise visit to Harris County Jail on Friday where he performed songs from his new album to 200 selected prisoners and staff, many of whom cried and knelt in prayer. The Grammy award-winning performer put on a similar second show at a nearby women's facility in Houston.