Kelly Rowland Explains Why She Once Left a Church She Belonged to

Kelly Rowland rose to fame as a member of the top-selling girl group Destiny’s Child. She’s since carved out her own solo success and says that she leans on her Christian faith to motivate and ground her. But, Rowland admits that some church parishioners can be too judgemental for her taste. She recently recalled leaving one church amid criticism of her performing secular music

Kelly Rowland
Kelly Rowland | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Kelly Rowland left her church due to criticism over secular music

Rowland grew up attending church with her mother in Atlanta. After moving to Houston and living with her best friend and bandmate Beyoncé’s family, she continued attending church with the Knowles family. 

As Destiny’s Child’s career took off, Rowland relied on her faith to combat the pressures of fame. Her dedication to Christianity and her home church remained steadfast. She explained to Kirk Franklin on a recent episode of his podcast how she navigated her new world with the help of her faith.

“I’m so grateful for it because this industry should have chewed me up and spit me out and ripped me apart,” she said. “And people should have chewed me up and spit me out and ripped me apart. And so many times, I do think that I was close. But faith…But faith, but God, but prayer…it’s definitely layered for sure.”

Source: YouTube

Related: Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland Hates ‘Bug A Boo’ But It’s One Of The Group’s Most Popular Songs

Unfortunately, a church she once belonged to was not as welcoming due to her group performing secular music. Amid the criticism, Rowland ultimately decided to give up her membership in that specific church.

The saints there didn’t quite…the saints didn’t really take to the fact that I was going to be singing this secular music. I was like, that’s cool, and found me another church that I wanted to go to that did not care. And that’s what happened with that…I’ve never been that girl that — that doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. And I was just happier at this other space and at this space that was really pushing myself and the ladies along and praying for us when we left, and praying to make sure that we got back safely, and praying whatever we’re going to this new place for that it works out in our favor. It was all of that.

Kelly Rowland explains leaving her former Church

Michelle Williams has also spoken out regarding the judgemental side of the Christian Church

Williams joined the group in 1999. When the group announced plans to take a hiatus to focus on their solo careers, many were shocked that Williams stuck to her Christian roots and opted for a solo career as a gospel singer. 

Despite naysayers’ belief that Williams would not succeed in the gospel arena, she proved them wrong. Her 2002 debut album Heart To Yours topped the US gospel album chart and became the best-selling gospel release of the year. Her 2004 follow-up Do You Know earned her a MOBO Award for “Best Gospel Act.”

Source: YouTube

Related: Michelle Williams Reveals Why She Almost Quit Singing Before Competing on ‘The Masked Singer’

Still, like Rowland, Williams has also dealt with Christian criticism, particularly due to her doing both solo gospel music and secular music with her group members. She’s been open about her journey with her mental health and admits that with added fame, she drew deeper into her depression. 

Unfortunately, not every one of the Christian faith is of the belief that mental health can be assisted with therapy. Instead, they choose to focus on faith but Williams says she’s learned better. 

“People think that money equates to happiness,” Williams said, as reported by Liberty University. “Sometimes money and success can only magnify that troubled soul, that wounded soul.”

She also defends her decision to sing both gospel and secular music, noting music can reach all if one’s intentions and messages are pure.