You know it’s 2019 when a worship service at Liberty University begins with a cover of a Christian song by rapper Kanye West.
David Nasser, executive vice president for spiritual development at the Christian college in Lynchburg, Virginia, told Faithwire the idea was born after he told Kevin Huguley, executive director of Liberty’s Worship Collective, that he would be preaching a sermon Wednesday night on “Selah,” a word that appears often throughout the book of Psalms and likely means “to praise.”
LU Praise, the university’s Gospel choir, also joined in the cover of West’s song.
Nasser said his message was based on Psalm 3, in which David shared his personal thanksgiving to God who protected and cared for him in his despair.
“Kevin sees the songs we sing as the opening illustrations of a sermon and is so intentional in the way we are ushered into one big redemptive doctrine,” Nasser explained, noting the idea to sing the song was Huguley’s.
The decision to perform West’s song, which tells the story of his journey toward salvation, came not long after Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., told Slate he and West have “struck up a little friendship.”
Falwell told the outlet the 42-year-old husband of TV personality Kim Kardashian called him “out of the blue” in mid-September to ask if he could host one of his now-famous Sunday Service events on Liberty’s campus, an idea that never came to fruition because making it happen in such a short period of time — West called on a Tuesday and wanted to perform in Lynchburg the following Sunday — was, according to Kardashian, a logistical impossibility.
The two men have remained in contact. Falwell said West has “a good heart.”