Church services for Easter Sunday will look very different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To minimize the spread of the virus, all in-person services have been canceled, and instead, people can celebrate the holiday through a live stream. Joel Osteen, who owns the famous Lakewood Church in Houston, will be hosting a star-studded service virtually.
Joel Osteen’s Easter Sunday service is set to include a performance from Mariah Carey and some words from Tyler Perry. Joel Osteen and his wife will also speak during the service. The Easter stream was originally supposed to include Kanye West and a virtual performance from his Sunday Service Choir in Los Angeles, but this is no longer the case.
Kanye West Had to Pull Out of the Performance Due to COVID-19 Safety Concerns for His Choir
On April 10, TMZ reported that Kanye had pulled out of Joel Osteen’s show due to safety concerns. The original plan was to have Kanye and his choir, which is comprised of dozens of members, sometimes up to 100, record some songs in L.A. for Osteen’s service. The choir was to all wear masks and practice social distancing during the performance.
However, once things were starting to take shape, TMZ said that Kanye felt it still wasn’t safe enough for all the participants and decided to cancel the appearance for the sake of his choir’s safety. Instead, a pre-recorded exclusive performance of Kanye and his Sunday Service Choir will appear on an Easter Sunday stream by VOUS Church.
Kanye & Joel Osteen Have Collaborated Before, in November 2019
Kanye and Joel Osteen have worked together before when Kanye took his Sunday Service choir to Osteen’s megachurch in Houston. On November 17, 2019, Kanye made an appearance at Lakewood Church in Houston to promote his album “Jesus Is King.”
The event is available in full on Joel Osteen’s YouTube account:
Joel Osteen shared the experience with Good Morning America and explained how the two became friends: “It was interesting. You know, Kanye’s had a turn of events in the last year or so, and I got a text from him, and we just struck up a conversation and a friendship. And he was going to be in Houston for an event and I thought, ‘Hey, you wanna come by the church?’ And so it all came together.”
About Kanye, Osteen said: “I’m a believer in people. I found him to be very genuine and just — a fantastic person.”
The two also had a conversation at Lakewood Church during the service, where Kanye opened up about his spiritual journey and faith.
Joel also said when he first met Kayne: “He asked me for advice because this world is new to him. I just shared it — share with him just to — you know, to keep God in first place, and keep listening to his heart.”