Pentecostal pastors Andraé and Sandra Crouch say recent reports that they led pop singer Michael Jackson to Christ three weeks before his sudden death Thursday are false.
In a posting on her Facebook page, Sandra Crouch, who with her brother, Andraé, leads Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, said reports that she and her brother met with Jackson and led him in the sinner's prayer are "incorrect and absolutely not true."
"We recently met with Michael to discuss recording two songs with our choir for his newest recording project," Sandra Crouch wrote in a statement signed by both Crouches. "Michael always had a respect and curiosity for spiritual things. During our meeting, not unlike many other creative/music meetings we've had with him the past, we sang together, prayed together and had a wonderful time."
Reports that Jackson sought prayer from the legendary gospel musicians began circulating Friday after the contemporary gospel duo Mary Mary posted a message they received from an associate of the Crouches on their Facebook page. "Michael asked Andraé to play 'It Won't Be Long and We'll Be Leaving Here,'" the posting read. "Michael then prayed with Sandra and [Andraé] and accepted Christ into his heart. Now he's singing in the heavenly choir! Our hearts rejoice!"
A representative from Christ Memorial would not confirm or deny the accuracy of a separate posting on Andraé Crouch's Facebook page claiming that Jackson requested prayer "concerning the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and how he could make his music more "spiritual'" during a meeting with the Crouches roughly three weeks ago.
Dave Nassaney, Andraé Crouch's Facebook page administrator, wrote that Andraé and Sandra Crouch told Jackson about the anointing and about Jesus. "He wanted to know what makes your hands go up, and makes you 'come out of yourself' and what gives a 'spirituality' to the music," Nassaney wrote. "He then requested to hear his favorite song that he loves, and wanted [them] to sing to him, so they sang that song to him, and joined hands and sang together, and he said, 'It was beautiful.'"
Nassaney said Crouch told him Jackson "definitely had an 'encounter'" during the visit, but it remained unclear whether the pop icon accepted Christ. Jackson was raised a Jehovah's Witness and reportedly converted to Islam in 2008.
"He did NOT reject Jesus or the prayer when they prayed, and gladly joined in prayer," Crouch said, according to Nassaney's post. "He usually doesn't touch anybody, but he touched them, and held their hands in a circle as they sang and prayed.
"There was NO actual 'sinners prayer,' however, but they did talk and pray about Jesus and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. They also told him, "Michael, we consider you as our son," and he said, "Yes, yes, yes," and [Jackson] gave him his latest music on a CD, and he told him, "Andraé I trust you with this," and gave him CDs of two songs--unpublished, beautiful music."
Sandra Crouch said she and her brother are praying for the Jackson family. "We loved and respected Michael enormously and we've been friends with him for many, many years, and are deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic death," she wrote.
"We are praying for Michael's family and desire nothing less than God's best for them," she added.
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