So happy for these two. Grateful for their friendship. The best is yet to come #marriedlifeisthebestlife
For a pastor, Rich Wilkerson Jr. has a lot of famous congregants. Prime example? His close friends Kim Kardashian and Kanye West who value his religious guidance so much that they had him officiate their wedding.
Wilkerson and Kimye became close two years ago, when a friend of Kanye's invited him to the young pastor's lively, youthful church in Miami which he grew from 12 people at his first service ever to more than 1,100 now. With special services on Tuesdays called The Rendevous (or "The Vous"), featuring contemporary singers, artists, and members dancing throughout the halls, followed by a serious sermon about all of life's toughest topics, it's not wonder Wilkerson Jr. attracts A-list clientele — including Yeezus himself.
"One night, I got a text [from a friend of Kanye's] that he was going to bring Kanye to church," Wilkerson told People. "We hung out and chatted. He flew back into town the following week and came to church. The week after that, he and Kim flew in from New York just to come to church."
So #vousconf2014 has begun. We're all here. Wish you were too. No words to express what God did tonite. #thebullsandthebees #liveon #intothenight
After that, their friendship flourished. "It began a relationship; we started emailing and calling each other. We collaborated on a few things: art, fashion, music, Jesus. He invited me to write a few things for his tour, and I've been able to counsel him on a few things."
Of course, his most important invite, though, came when Kimye asked him to officiate their wedding — and ever since their Florence nuptials he's gotten more attention than ever before.
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"I never expected that anyone would care who performed the ceremony," he said of the ceremony he performed for the high-profile couple. "Celebrities get married all the time and no one knows who their pastor is. I didn't tell anyone I was doing the wedding; I just went to Italy and did it. And then everything started moving really fast."
"I got to give my message," he continued. "They wanted a Christian wedding, and wanted me to talk about Jesus. It wasn't a message of hate and judgment; it was a message of hope and love. Kim and Kanye have both told me that they're followers of Jesus; we're on the journey together as friends. I believe in them, and I believe in their marriage."
As expected, Kimye's wedding catapoulted Wilkerson into the spotlight, so much so that the handsome, young paster (he looks a bit like Leonardo DiCaprio, no?) will be starring in his very own reality show, set to air on Oxygen and to be produced by E!'s very own Giuliana Rancic and Jason Kennedy.