Pastor Adam Tyson, the senior pastor of Placerita Bible Church, made headlines recently after preaching at a number of Kanye West’s Sunday Service events.
Tyson had previously worked as a Physician’s Assistant at the Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery, in Savannah, Georgia, for about three or four years before entering fulltime ministry.
He recalls sitting in his office as a P.A. thinking, “Man, what am I doing? I might be helping people live longer, but they’re just going to sin more. I want to help people live forever, where they never sin again.”
Tyson, a young graduate of The Master’s Seminary, now pastors a small church in Los Angeles, which attracts between three-to-four hundred people.
So, how did Pastor Tyson come to preach at events organised by Kanye West? Tyson recently sat down with Billy Hallowell, of the Pureflix Podcast, to give the details.
At the time, Tyson wasn’t aware that West was in the building until after he had finished preaching. To Tyson’s surprise, the following week West appeared again, and then again two weeks later.
After the service, West asked to speak with Tyson.
We had like a 15-minute conversation where he was so excited to share with me what God was teaching him, how Christ had change him, and wanted to talk more about it.
The two arranged another meeting, this time speaking for about three hours.
I spent three hours just going through the gospel, making sure he understood clearly about the atonement of Jesus Christ, that God is holy, that we are sinners, that Christ came to die in the place of sinners, that by repenting and believing in Him, we could have eternal life.
West then told Tyson that he believes the gospel and wants to share it with the world.
For the purpose of ongoing discipleship, West asked Tyson if the two could regularly meet. Soon after the two decided to start a Tuesday night Bible study which attracted up to 40 to 50 people.
It was then that West moved to a ranch he purchased in Cody, Wyoming. But only a couple of days after the move, West messaged Tyson asking him to come to Cody to continue with the Tuesday night Bible studies.
West grew up with some knowledge of God. He’s spoken before about his mother’s faith. His father was also a Christian counsellor. But according to Tyson, West said he was always running from God, that is, until West was “radically saved” five weeks before he first met with Tyson back in June.
Tyson recalls asking West what happened:
He’s like, ‘I was just under the weight of my sin. And I was being convicted that I was running from God. And I knew I needed to make things right. So, I came to Christ. I came out of darkness into the light.’
News of West’s conversion raised criticism with some accusing the rapper of using it as a gimmick to promote his new album, Jesus is King.
Tyson admitted to his “shame” that if he wasn’t on the inside, he might be a little sceptical too. But having spent hours with West, Tyson can find no reason to doubt his profession of faith, in fact, he said he’s confident God is at work in West and is committed to helping him grow in his faith.
I’ve spent enough hours with this man to know that God is at work. And so, I told him many times, ‘As long as you’re professing Christ and wanting to live for him, I’m here to help you. My goal is to help you to be rooted and grounded in the Word of God.
West is regularly in the Bible, and regularly in prayer, according to Tyson, who went on to say that he’s even heard the rapper ask people not to cuss around him anymore.
When asked what he wants to do with his life, Kanye told Tyson that he wants to take all of his time, talent and resources to sing for God. Tyson recounts the conversation:
He was like, ‘From now on, all I want to do is serve Christ. I want every song that I sing, to have part of my testimony, to include the gospel and to include the element of worship to our great God.
West has asked Tyson to help ensure his lyrics clearly present and communicate the gospel and includes a component of worship.
On September 27, at West’s sold-out Sunday Service show in Detroit, Tyson made his first appearance. West’s Sunday Service events have been taking place across the country, but have previously been criticised for the lack of preaching and the Bible.
Tyson said he hesitated when West first asked him to preach, saying, “Hey, if I preach, I’m going to preach the gospel. And I don’t know if everybody’s gonna like that.”
“That’s exactly what I want,” West replied. “I want the gospel to go forth to Detroit.”
Tyson, who also preached at a Sunday Service in Queens, said: “the results that I’ve seen both in Detroit and in New York was overwhelming, positive, encouraging.
Following the services, people approached Tyson in repentance, confessing their sins.
“Obviously, West is excited about it,” Tyson said, “and he came right up to me after Detroit and said, ‘That’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted the gospel to go forth to Detroit.’”
You can watch Pastor Tyson deliver his message to his audience in Detroit below: