Posted by News Express | 25 April 2016 | 3,758 times
Prince devoted his life to spreading the word of God and even took his work door to door in recent months, a Jehovah’s Witness elder has told Dailymail.com.
Prince, who officially converted to the religion in 2003, is associated with the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall, Saint Louis Park congregation in Minneapolis which is a 20 minute drive from his Paisley Park estate.
The deeply religious megastar is a ‘publisher’ with the Jehovah’s Witness faith and saw it as his calling to spread the message of Jehovah.
The Dailymail.com took a tour of Prince’s church and spoke with church elders about the singer's dedication to the faith.
We also learned that the singer, who is worth $300 million, gave the congregation significant ‘gifts of mercy’ over the years.
The large cash donations were made in secret in line with the teachings of Jehovah.
This comes as it emerged the Purple Rain star was cremated in secret on Friday.
Prince’s body was released back to his family shortly after 1pm after undergoing a four hour autopsy at the Minnesota medical examiner’s office in Ramsey.
He was then driven across Minneapolis to the First Memorial Waterston Chapel and sister Tyka, along with her son Prez and another member of the family, were there to see him cremated.
The Jehovah’s Witness church is expected to be heavily involved in the star’s memorial service.
But elders would only say that a decision over the final plans was ‘pending’.
When Dailymail.com arrived at the Saint Louis Park church the elders were finishing up a meeting to discuss the impact of Prince’s death on the congregation and plans for the memorial service.
Tearful church leader James Lundstrom said the church was ‘saddened’ over Prince’s death and that there would be announcement Sunday morning about what will happen next.
Brother George Cook, who is one of the nine elders of the small 90-person congregation, told Dailymail.com: ‘No decisions have been made yet, but the congregation will be involved.’
The 81-year-old said of the deceased singer: ‘Prince was a publisher with good standing here in our congregation. He was active, he shared in the ministry every month.
‘We didn’t see him very often because he was away all the time, but he did attend the memorial of Christ’s death on March 23 here, he brought some of his band members with him.
‘He was a spiritual man from what I know of him and he talked to individuals and he very strongly believed in the message of the bible that Jehovah Witness’s proclaim.
‘He believed that the true God is Jehovah and he knew for example that when we die, we’re dead, we’re sleeping and the hope is the resurrection, that’s why Jesus died.’
Brother Cook said Prince regularly ‘witnessed’ alone in the community, as well as in groups.
And he admitted that people might have been shocked to see the superstar turn up on their doorstep to talk to them and offer a free bible course, but added: ‘We try to downplay the person, it’s all about the message.
‘We try not to eulogize any individual from a personal standpoint, one person is equal in the eyes of God as another person.
‘So our main goal is to proclaim the message of God’s kingdom as equals and Prince did what he could from what I understand.
‘He did what he could to help people to get into the Bible and appreciate the benefits of family life and the hope of God’s kingdom.’
He added: ‘Credibility and honesty in conveying the message is vital.’
Brother Cook described Prince as ‘modest’ and ‘very, very humble’ when he came to the church.
‘Obviously he was able to witness when he was on his travels as well, he was devoted to it like we all are,’ he said.
‘He found fulfillment as a Witness and in sharing his faith with others.’
The elder says he last saw Prince when the star attended a 50-minute ceremony to commemorate the death of Jesus on March 23 – an event celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses all over the world.
The church has no photos of their most famous ‘publisher’ on the walls as you might expect, because ‘that would be glorifying an individual’.
‘Glory goes to Jehovah God, almighty God and his son Jesus Christ,’ said Brother Cook.
Brother Cook also said the church does not have a problem with Prince’s reported addiction to prescription drugs because ‘that’s a personal matter’.
‘We are in to homeopathy and things like that, because nothing is 100 per cent.’
Prince was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2003 at the Chanhassen Jehovah’s Witness church just a half mile from his house.
It’s believed he studied the faith with Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham who later started Graham Central Station, the funk group.
When news of Prince’s conversion circulated in 2001, his fans had a hard time believing that a man who wrote songs like ‘Jack U Off’ and ‘Sexy MF’ was now a devout Jehovah's Witness.
Prince described his conversion more as an awakening, likening his experience to that of Neo in The Matrix.
On October 5, 2003, a couple in Eden Prairie, Minnesota opened their door at 2pm to find Prince standing on their doorstep, Bible in hand.
‘My first thought is, “Cool, cool, cool. He wants to use my house for a set,”’ the woman, called Rochelle, recalled.
Prince was accompanied by Graham.
‘Then they start in on this Jehovah's Witnesses stuff. They stayed for about 25 minutes,’ she said, ‘Left us a pamphlet.’
•Text courtesy of Dailymail.com. Photo shows the late Prince.
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