Global superstar Beyoncé returned home to Houston on Friday and joined the survivors of Hurricane Harvey at her home church, St. John’s United Methodist Church, with Senior Pastor, Rudy Rasmus – affectionately known to the global community as Pastor Rudy.

Joining Pastor Rudy and Beyoncé were her mother Tina Knowles Lawson, daughter Blue Ivy and bandmate Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, among others who were on hand to provide support and aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey, which has profoundly impacted the region.

The Houston native and her foundation, BeyGOOD partnered with Pastor Rudy, the founder of the Bread of Life, Inc., a non-sectarian, non-profit organization, which started 25 years old ago through St. John’s United Methodist Church. The Bread of Life was set up to specifically respond to crises and disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. Beyoncé has previously partnered with her pastor on global outreach initiatives, including her highly-publicized anti-hunger campaigns and food programs in conjunction with her concert tours.

“I’m home, this church is my home. I was maybe nine or ten years old the first time I sat there where my daughter [Blue Ivy] is sitting. I sang my first solo here,” she said, emotional as she spoke to a packed church.
Looking to Pastor Rudy, she added, “I just want to thank you for lifting up my family and praying for me and for being such an incredible example of what life and love is.”

Speaking to the audience full of survivors, she continued. “Today is a celebration of survival. Y’all are my family. Houston is my home. I thank God that you’re safe, and your children are safe. The thing that really matters is your health, and your children, and your family. And I just want to say I love you. I’m so, so thankful to God that I’ve been blessed, so that I can bless other people, and I ask God to continue to do that for other people.”

Though Pastor Rudy would not disclose the financial donation that Beyoncé made on behalf of Hurricane Harvey, he did say that it was sizable. “Over the years, I’ve worked with Beyoncé to help coordinate various humanitarian opportunities to impact places in the states and all over the world,” says Pastor Rudy. “She has partnered with Bread of Life to do food drives. We have addressed food insufficiency around the world, including countries in Africa and India, where people are really suffering. We’ve done great work with her.”

His relationship with the superstar goes back many years. “I’ve known Beyoncé since she was a little girl,” Pastor Rudy continued. “She grew up at St. John’s. I’ve known her mom [Tina Knowles Lawson] and dad [Mathew Knowles] before they had kids. Beyoncé has been an amazing friend and generous supporter. She has helped us do some significant work in the Houston area and she is totally committed to the recovery efforts on behalf of Hurricane Harvey.”

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