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'A Mission, Not a Show': Kanye West Surprises TX Inmates with Spirit-Filled Worship Service

11-18-2019
Courtesy ABC/Harris County Jail
Courtesy ABC/Harris County Jail

Kanye West held two surprise worship services for prisoners at the Harris County Jail in Houston on Friday ahead of his Sunday morning appearance at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church.

About 200 male prisoners in orange jumpsuits lifted their hands and sang along as West and his choir performed songs from his brand new gospel album Jesus is King.

"This is a mission, not a show," he repeatedly told the crowd.

After performing his God-centered songs for the men, West and his crew went to the women's prison. Many were overwhelmed by the unexpected worship service.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales told the KHOU 11 "it was a very powerful moment." 

"It really was like worship service. 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," he explained.

Gonzales said the jail holds faith-based programs for inmates but this was by far the largest gospel production the jail has hosted to date.

Jason Spencer, the public affairs director for the Harris County Sheriff's Office, tweeted a picture of inmates on their knees worshipping God.

"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," said Spencer.

Days after his performance, West addressed Lakewood Church and told them about his recent conversion to Christ.

"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," West told the church.

"Every time I stand up, I am drawing a line in the sand and saying I'm here in service for God."

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