Rapper and actor Ja Rule reveals he dedicated his life to Christ at Hillsong Church
New York rapper and actor Ja Rule revealed in an interview last week that he and his wife recently got saved at Hillsong Church.
Ja Rule, born Jeffrey Atkins, was on a church tour in promotion of his film "I'm in Love with a Church Girl," when he attended the NYC megachurch. Atkins said there was something unique about the service.
"You walk into the church and it's dark in there, the disco ball is still in there and you see the lights and you're like, 'This is different,'" he told hip-hop and R&B station Power 105.1. "And you get in there and start to look at everybody around you, and they look just like you.
"Then the pastor comes out, Carl Lentz ... tatted up. When I saw him, he had some (Jordans) on, jeans, a T-shirt. He came out and he started preaching, and I felt like he was talking to me," Atkins said.
"I got saved at that church, me and my wife. We went up on stage, we got saved and it just gave me a good feeling."
Atkins and his wife, Aisha, have been married since 2001. They have three children.
The 38-year-old rapper's faith was renewed at Hillsong Church after years of being disenchanted with religion. Atkins said that the treatment of his mother after she left the Jehovah's Witness community gave him a negative opinion towards organised religion.
"I found that rather odd," he said. "I was living with my grandmother at the time. My mum would get me on the weekends and stuff like that. And then they were like, 'You're not gonna be able to go with your mum on the weekends anymore.'
"But then, ironically, when I blew up and started making money and became Ja Rule, everybody could come and speak to my mother."
Atkins had a successful career throughout the 90s and early 2000s. He was nominated for four Grammy's and was a multi-platinum-selling artist.
Another New York rapper who was successful during that time was Mason Betha, or Ma$e. Betha left the entertainment industry to become pastor of El Elyon International Church, but returns to the entertainment spotlight periodically.
His most recent release, a single called "Nothing," contains explicit sexual content and adult language. Atkins said he is troubled by the conflicting messages.
"I'm confused. He's confusing me," he told the radio DJs. "I don't know how to take it because I'm like, 'Is that allowed?' I don't know."
Atkins was careful not to judge Betha, however.
"I'm not sitting here saying I'm ... the great godly man. I'm not the authority to really speak on these situations," he said.
He also doesn't want the public to judge him.
"I don't want people on my Twitter being like, 'Man, I thought you were a holy roller,'" Atkins stated. "I don't want people to misconstrue what I'm doing here. I'm taking baby steps and I want to get closer to God. I feel it's something that you should do in life.
"I'm a very spiritual dude and I feel you should have your one-on-one with God."