Celebrities. They’re “just like us!” At least, that’s what magazines tell us as they share photos of our favorite celebs grocery shopping or picking up their kids from school. Yes, they do grocery shop and pick up their kids from school—but many of them also go to church.
While Justin Bieber walking out of a Sunday service might cause more of a scene than the regular church-goer, he and many celebs like him have found churches and pastors that speak truth into their lives, giving them a safe place to worship and spiritual guidance to navigate life’s ups and downs.
Here are some lasting relationships between celebrities and their pastors:
1. Judah Smith + Justin Bieber
These days, Justin Bieber seems to more vocal than ever about his faith—whether singing a worship song in his car on Snapchat or posting scripture to his Instagram, the singer is not shy about boldly proclaiming his faith.
It was previously revealed that Bieber texts his pastor “almost daily.” Smith also shared that it’s not “just me sending him Bible verses anymore.” But instead, that “he’ll [Bieber] send them to me, along with encouraging thoughts or an encouraging emoticon. I’m committed to helping him and protecting him, but it’s fair to say we’re there for each other,” he added.
Back in December, Bieber and then girlfriend, Selena Gomez (also a friend of Pastor Judah Smith) even flew to Seattle, Washington to catch a Sunday morning sermon on “Generosity” at Smith’s church, Churchome.
2. Billy Graham + Johnny Cash
The late Billy Graham and Johnny Cash were perhaps a very unlikely friendship—however, Graham (arguably one of the most famous pastors ever) and Cash were best friends, mutual confessors and even fishing buddies. Their wives, Ruth Bell and June Carter, were also known to pray together and had their own friendship.
After spending a Christmas together in 1974, Graham wrote a letter to Cash saying:
“When we left, Ruth and I had tears in our eyes. … We have come to love you all as few people we have ever known. The fun we had, the delicious food we ate, the stimulating conversation, lying in the moonlight at night, the prayer meetings, the music we heard, etc. There has been running over and over in my mind ‘Matthew 24 is knocking at the door.’ I have a feeling this could be a big hit.”
3. Carl Lentz and Kendall and Kylie Jenner (and Bono, Jay Z, Nick Jonas...the list goes on)
Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz’s list of celebrity friends is too long to list. The inspirational pastor has befriended and mentored many of Hollywood’s elite, often featured (and admired) in secular news and tabloids for his trendy clothes, impressive physique and A-list friendships.
So much so, that many have criticized him for the fame he’s gained by association.
However, when faced with this particular criticism, Lentz told GQ in 2015, “People say we cater to celebrities. And I say, yes, we do. Celebrities deserve a relationship with God. Celebrities deserve a place to pray.”
I really enjoyed my time with @oprah filming for her super soul Sunday show… She is truly a special woman and a culture changer. To come from absolute poverty in Mississippi and reach the point where she became the first African American MULTI-BILLIONAIRE, takes a passion and drive that is exceptional and tireless. What struck me most about her, was her ease and kindness. She told me her key was “waking up each day and thanking Jesus for loving me and thanking Him for all he has done.” That practice, in that order, is one to be copied.. I’m grateful that she opened up her platform to talk about Jesus unapologetically and without borders. It’s literally impossible to “say all the right things” in interviews like this. I don’t even remotely try to. My goal is to always say the one thing that matters eternally, and by Gods grace, we are able to at least do that! #occupyallstreets #especiallytheonesyoudontbelongonnaturally #newroadsnewrivers #mysnapchatiscarl.lentz
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4. Rudy Rasmus + Beyonce
Pastor Rudy Rasmus has long been a pastor and friend to the Knowles’ family, even officiating Beyonce and Jay Z’s marriage in 2008.
Ramus has been quick to defend Beyonce’s image, despite her more risque performances, by saying, “I think a person has the right to earn a living in the way that they are gifted, and I think that she is tremendously gifted and I think she expresses that gift in some amazing ways. I think the world would be void an extreme talent if we silenced her or censored her.”
After Hurricane Harvey, Beyonce teamed with Rasmus, to help bring hope and resources to those affected.
5. Rich Wilkerson Jr. + Kim and Kayne
Rich Wilkerson Jr. is the Senior Pastor of Vous Church in downtown Miami. Over the years, Wilkerson and his wife have become such close friends with Kim Kardashian and Kayne West that he was the officiant at their wedding in May 2014.
“They’re friends of mine and I love them,” Wilkerson has said of Kim and Kayne. “I believe in them and I think they’ve got an amazing, amazing relationship. I think that they work hard to continue to make it happen.”Also a friend of Kin’s sister, Kourtney Kardashian, and singer Justin Bieber, Wilkerson told ET that Bieber is “the most talented person” he knows. “He’s got a heart of gold,” he said of the 21-year-old pop star.
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5. Chad & Julia Veach + Hailey Baldwin
Hailey Baldwin has long been friends with Hillsong pastor and wife, Chad and Julia Veach, regularly attending Veach’s services and hanging out with the family beding the scenes.
The friends are so close that Hailey, along with other celeb friends such as Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson and Justin Bieber, got a lowercase “g” tattoo behind her ear in honor of the Veachs’ daughter, Georgia, who was born with a very rare brain disorder called Lissencephaly.
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A post shared by Chad Veach (@chadcveach) on
JUSTIN BIEBER’S ‘CALVARY’ PAINTING SPREADS HOPE AMIDST TRAGEDY
Justin Bieber recently took to Instagram, sharing his painting titled “Calvary,” sparking a wave of optimism despite the recent, devastating wildfires in California.