Kanye West may have drawn them, but a crowd of more than 17,000 heard the gospel in song and sermon at this year’s Strength to Stand Conference, an annual event of the Birmingham-based Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association.
West, one of the most critically acclaimed musicians of the 21st century, performed Jan. 19 during two services held at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. West performed several songs from his album “Jesus is King,” including “Selah,” “Follow God” and “Closed on Sunday.”
West was joined by the Sunday Service Choir, which led the audience in several songs, including “Ultralight Beam,” “Every Hour” and “Revelation 19:1,” along with traditional hymns including “How Great Thou Art” and “Jesus Loves Me.”
“38,000 fresh flowers, 12,000 people, 100 choir members, one focus — Jesus,” Carrie Adams, a member of New Harmony Baptist Church, Heflin, posted on Facebook. “I can’t speak for Kanye’s heart, but I can tell you it was all about Him, not him.”
West’s pastor, Los Angeles- based Adam Tyson, also spoke on the story of the prodigal son.
“We were so thankful that Kanye West and his team were willing to come to Strength to Stand this year,” said Scott Dawson, founder of the Strength to Stand Conference. “It was an honor to have Kanye and the Sunday Service Choir along with Kanye’s pastor, Adam Tyson, join us for the conference to tell the world about Jesus.”
Other artists featured at the conference included Hillsong Young & Free, Lecrae and Jonathan Edwards. Dawson reported that some 600 attendees made decisions for Christ during the conference.
West joined the Strength to Stand lineup in November 2019 when the conference had to cancel previous headliner John Crist’s appearance after he admitted to “destructive and sinful” behavior.
The Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association has conducted the Strength to Stand conference since 1994 in the Pigeon Forge area, serving more than 250,000 students since the conference began.
To watch a video from this year’s Strength to Stand Conference, visit TAB Media on YouTube.
For more information about the conference and related events, visit strengthtostand.com. (TAB)