Little Richard Dead at 87: Here's the Powerful Story of How He Turned to Christ Late in Life
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Groundbreaking rock 'n' roll icon Little Richard has died at the age of 87. Pastor Bill Minson, a close friend of his, reports that Little Richard passed into eternity on Saturday morning.
The dynamic and often flamboyant performer was one of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll. He spent many years living without God, but near the end of his life, he found faith in Jesus Christ.
Three years ago, CBN News reported about his dramatic conversion to become a follower of Christ. Here's that uplifting testimony:
Little Richard Rejects 'Omnisexual' Past: 'I Want to Be Holy Like Jesus'
Iconic musician Little Richard is renouncing his past rock-and-roll lifestyle of sexual immorality, saying he has repented and turned to Jesus Christ for salvation.
In previous interviews, the famous singer referred to himself as "omnisexual," revealing in an interview with GQ five years ago that he lived a life of perversion, including orgies with men and women.
But in an extensive interview with Three Angels Broadcasting Network, an Illinois-based Christian TV and radio network, Little Richard says you can't live that way and go to heaven, referring to "unnatural affections" that include same-sex relationships.
"When I first came in show business they wanted you to look like everybody but yourself," he recalled.
"And anybody that come into show business, they gonna come at you and say you're gay, you're straight, you're a homosexual or something," he said. "But God, Jesus, made men men, He made women women, and you've got to live the way God wants you live…he can save you," the 84-year-old singer told Christian broadcaster 3ABN.
The singer admits he fell to the temptations of the entertainment industry.
In Charles White's biography, The Life And Times Of Little Richard, Richard, who's given name is Richard Wayne Penniman, revealed that his marriage to Ernestine Campbell fell apart due to his sexuality and being neglectful.
"You know, all these things. So much unnatural affection," the singer told the network. "So much of people just doing everything and don't think about God. Don't want no parts of Him."
"I was talking to Michael Jackson's mother Katherine and she said she believed in the Resurrection. I said I believed in the Resurrection too. But I believe you've got to live right now in Jesus. He's a real Savior and the Prince of Life," he added.
"Regardless of whatever you are, He loves you. I don't care what you are. He loves you and He can save you. All you've got to do is say, 'Lord, take me as I am. I'm a sinner.' But we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The only holy, righteous person is Jesus and He wants us to be just like Him because, in order to go to Heaven, we've got to look like Him," Richard continued.
Richard said he asked God to save him and the Lord spoke to him saying, "Richard, you're singing Tutti Frutti. You're singing Good Golly Miss Molly. You're singing Long Tall Sally. You're singing The Girl Can't Help It and She's Got It and all of these things."
And Richard asked, "Lord, can I do this and still be saved?" And according to the singer, the Lord replied, "Richard, no man can serve two masters."
Richard said he had to release everything after that, so he retired from performing and recording.
"People want to go to heaven, but they don't want to have to give up nothing," he said. "And in order to see Jesus, you've got to give up something."
He related a recent incident where a producer came to him, offering millions of dollars for a new television series titled "Little Richard."
The producer told him if he would allow the series to go forward, he would be the hottest thing on the planet.
"And I said, 'I don't want to be hot in the fire. I don't want to be hot in the flames," he told the producer. "I want to do what God wants me to do."
Richard confessed the offer was tempting.
"I don't want to sing rock and roll no more. …I want to be holy like Jesus," he said. "Give everything you've got to Jesus, and oh, you'll feel so much better."
"I want to show the world that I know a man that created everything. I know a man that gave his life that I might have a right to the tree of life."
***THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2017
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