Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. explains why he chose mainstream rapper Kanye West to design the cover of his overtly Christian book, in a recent interview with Rapzilla.com.
Wilkerson's first book, Sandcastle Kings: Meeting Jesus In a Spiritually Bankrupt World, hit shelves on Nov. 10, 2015. In his book, the young pastor explains why all the material success in the world will not make someone happy or fill the void in one's heart.
Known around the world as the pastor who conducted the wedding ceremony for Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian, Wilkerson took his celebrity friendship a bit further by asking the "Jesus Walks" emcee to illustrate his cover.
"I think the content of the book is what I believe to be life changing – the greatest message in the world, which is the gospel. it's not my message, it's Christ's message and we're just carriers of it but because the content is so rich, I wanted to make sure the cover had some sort of pull in. I wanted it to be great," Wilkerson said to Rapzilla.
"The church throughout history has always called upon some of the world's greatest artists in their time period whether they were believers, non-believers, whether they agree with their message or not," he continued. "And I just feel like for 2016, Kanye West, whether you like him, love him, hate him, it wasn't about endorsing his lifestyle, he's a very influential artist."
"He (Kanye West) happens to be someone who does love Jesus and I just said, 'Man would you design the cover of the book?'" the minister told Rapzilla.
Wilkerson explained that he used the cover with West's design to appeal to people that would never consider reading a book about Jesus. The Tacoma, Washington native revealed that many people have in fact picked up the book because of the book's cover.
Wilkerson reportedly first met West after the rapper attended one of his church services in 2012. According to People, the Vous Church in downtown Miami became a safe haven for Kim and Kanye.
In addition to the new book, Wilkerson and his wife, DawnCheré, are currently the stars of Oxygen Network's reality show, "Rich in Faith." The show is produced by E's Giuliana Rancic and Jason Kennedy.
Wilkerson has a diverse congregation in Miami through his young adult ministry, The Rendezvous (nicknamed "the Vous church"). With over 4,000 attendees, the pastor tackles tough issues, giving clear advice on everything from racism to drugs and sex, and doesn't shy away from preaching about sin and repentance.
For more information about Wilkerson visit www.thevous.com