‘There Was a Time When the Devil Had Me’: Kanye West Testifies Before More Than 12,000 Youths

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Standing before more than 12,000 students, West proclaimed, “I believe Jesus died for my sins. There was a time when the devil had me.

Kanye West

Kanye West shared how Jesus radically changed his life and saved him from the devil while performing along with his Sunday Service choir at a youth conference where hundreds of students dedicated their lives to Christ.

West stepped onto the stage and powerfully spoke the lyrics from “Jesus is King,” “Follow God” and “Closed on Sunday.”

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“I believe Jesus died for my sins. There was a time when the devil had me,” West testified before the 12,400 students gathered for the Strength to Stand Conference on Sunday, The Christian Post reports.

“Do you know the good news? Jesus can save a wretch like me,” he continued as the 135-member Sunday Service choir around him sang the words, “I stretch my hands to you/Father I stretch.”

“When I don’t know what to do, I can still stretch my hands,” he said.

By wearing the same gray outfit as the choir, West took the focus off himself. With little stage presence, the hip hop artist stayed within the choir throughout the majority of the service and spoke few words as he performed. The goal of the Sunday Service was clear: God, and not Kanye, was going to be glorified.

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West powerfully spoke the lyrics of “Jesus Is King” tracks “Selah,” “Follow God,” and the fan-favorite “Closed on Sunday.” During the service, the Sunday Service Choir belted out songs including “Ultralight Beam,” “Every Hour” and “Revelation 19:1,” along with traditional hymns including “How Great Thou Art” and “Jesus Loves Me.”

“Hallelujah, He is wonderful!” the choir sang as students raised their hands in worship, reflecting the communal spirit of the church.

The event featured big names in the Christian sphere, but when Kanye announced he was bringing his Sunday Service choir, interest went through the roof and the free event was booked to capacity within minutes.

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Other performers included Hillsong Young & Free, Lecrae, and Jonathan Edwards.

West’s pastor, Los Angeles-based Adam Tyson, delivered a short sermon on the story of the Prodigal Son.

“The Father is saying to his son, ‘If you’ll come back, I’m so glad you’re back. I love you,’” Tyson said. “Are you hearing me this morning? If you come back to the Father, He runs after you. He loves you. He wants to embrace you. He wants to give you a holy kiss; a kiss of mercy, a kiss of love, a kiss of acceptance. It’s from the Father and it’s for you. It’s forgiveness for you.”

“When you come to Christ, when you come to the Father through the blood of Jesus, He gives you the garment of praise,” he continued. “He gives you authority over sin and you have authority over the devil and over this world.”

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Tyson concluded his message with an altar call, during which over 200 students dedicated their lives to Christ, according to event coordinators.

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