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ELVIS - Was He a Christian?

January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977

Was Elvis a Christian? Let me check my iPod. Yes, I have 38 Gospel songs by Elvis Presley on my gadget.  And that’s not them all. He recorded over 80 Gospel tracks during his career. If nothing else, the King of Rock and Roll knew many lyrics that were based on Bible truths. But knowing and singing beautiful hymns does not make one a Christian.


Those who knew Elvis said he not only knew and sang hymns he actually loved Gospel songs. After concerts, late at night, Elvis and his friends would sing classic Christian songs such as 'In the Sweet By and By'. But loving Gospel songs does not make one a Christian. On the left below is Elvis making an appearance in 1972 at a Gospel Concert.


Elvis is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001. (1) But being in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame makes no one a Christian.


Elvis’ career accomplishments are staggering and his name lives on. For five years in succession Elvis was the top earning ‘deceased’ celebrity in the world – grossing well over $40 million a year according to Forbes. (2)


Elvis started singing hymns as a child, attending church with his mother. At the age of 13 he moved to Memphis with his family and started his career in 1954. He would eventually become known as the King of Rock and Roll or simply ‘The King’.


There are many stories about Elvis’ respect for Christ. One such story goes like this: One night at a concert fans unfurled a massive banner while Elvis was singing. The banner read: “Elvis is King!” Elvis stopped in the middle of his song and clearly stated in the microphone: “There is only one king and He is Jesus Christ,” or something to that effect. Some say it is an urban legend others say it truly happened.


I was only a child when my eldest brother brought home Elvis’ Gospel album His Hand in Mine. On the cover, young Elvis was sitting at a piano bench looking back towards the camera. The album disappeared. The tempo and perhaps the controversial budding rock star were just too much for my father. Eventually it was located under the living room carpet.


It was a sad day when Elvis died. He was pronounced dead at 3:30PM, August 16, 1977 at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Age 42.


I would love to think Elvis is in Heaven. In fact, I would like to think that all who are reading this story will be in Heaven.




Donnie Sumner (above, next to Elvis on back left), in his autobiography “In the Shadow of Kings” devotes a chapter to the question: Was Elvis a Christian? Sumner sang with Elvis for years as a member of The Stamps and later The Voice. Here is a lengthy excerpt from Chapter 27 of Sumner’s book:


Elvis was the most diligent searcher for "eternal life” truths I have ever known in the secular world. He constantly read books like "The Bible," "The Immortal Life," "Flight of the Phoenix," and numerous volumes he held dear that taught Eastern religions. It appeared to me that he had an insatiable longing for informative truths as they relate to life after death.

I recall one night when Elvis motioned for me to follow him and I did. After leaving Linda and all the guys in the living room, we found ourselves in his bedroom. He sat on the bed with his back to the head board and I sprawled out across the foot of the bed, on my side with my head propped up by my bent arm and said, "What ya' need, boss?"

His response shall always be the memory of a door that I once had opened before me and one that I failed to walk through. I was in no way a professing believer at the time and the question Elvis asked me took me totally by surprise. It is not within my power to return again to that point and redo it properly but I can tell you now, what was said.

"What does 'being saved' mean?"

I was astonished that Elvis would ask "me" such a question and I said to him in response, "Far out boss, why you askin' me such a question? Do I look like a preacher?"

"Seriously," he said, "I was watchin' this show on TV and they were talking about when they got "saved" and I knew your dad was a preacher and I figured if anybody here would know, you would."

Realizing, then, that he was seriously trying to determine what "being saved" really was, I made a brief attempt at trying to explain it, the way that I had been taught as a child, in a less than an ecclesiastical rendering.

I said to Elvis, "Well, the way I understand it, if you believe the story that Jesus really came as they say He did and that He died for sins the way they say He did and the other stuff they say, like, He rose from the dead, went back to Heaven and that He's coming again some day: If you really truly believe all of that and discount any other way to be right with God as you and I believe Him to be, then you are saved and "being saved" is just a way of saying that you are a "born again believer." Then, in a jesting after thought, I said, "How's that 'my son'."

Elvis then asked, "Well, what happens then?"

I was really getting into it by then and answered him, "Well if you accept by faith the fact that all of this is true and ask the Spirit of Jesus to take control of your living, He will and He'll help you do stuff like make the right decisions and be a better kind of person." I said to him, "I've heard my daddy say, lots of times, "If Jesus wasn't walking with me, I don't think I could make it." I then concluded my "redneck" message with the comment, "But the best part is, when you die you go to heaven instead of hell!"

Elvis’ short comment was, "Cool!" He then added, "Sometimes life is hell! Maybe I'm already there!"

A couple more non-essential statements were made and we returned to the living room.

"Was Elvis a 'Christian'?"

That answer lies between Elvis and God and “those two” alone.

I left Elvis eleven months before His death and I am now certain that the act of becoming a part of the family of God and thereby, at some point, a receiver of an eternal life in His presence only requires a split second choice to do so. Elvis had numerous seconds in which to do so after my leaving if he had not done so prior to my resignation.

"Was Elvis a 'Christian'?"

He was my true friend and I hope so. I know that I am and I would love to see Him again someday!


Above is a picture of Elvis on his very last tour the year he died 1977 singing the well-known hymn: "How Great Thou Art."


Elvis has been gone since 1977. What about you? If you were to die this year and people asked: “Was he a Christian?” or “Was she saved?” what would the real answer be?


It is not good enough to love singing songs about Christ. You must have a conscious, memorable moment in your life when as a sinner you responded to Christ and accepted Him as your personal Saviour. No other religious experience or behaviour counts when it comes to getting to Heaven.

For God so loved the world

that He gave His only begotten Son

that whosoever believeth in Him

should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16


 Originally posted August, 2010






Posted in: Life Lessons


Be sherpe
# Be sherpe
Monday, August 23, 2010 4:59 PM
Was Elvis a Christian? Well someone said one time . " We may be surprised who we see in Heaven and who we do not see".
# joem
Friday, November 11, 2011 11:10 AM
First of all, don't take for granted that any of us will end up in Heaven. The Bible clearly states that "few" will enter.

Its irrelevant how likeable Elvis was. Doesn't matter how many gospel songs he sang, or how many times he waved the cross in front of his chest.

What is relevant is what he did with his life. You cannot be called a Christian unless you are indeed following Jesus Christ. Jesus was poor. To Him the riches were of God and all that was natural. He didn't glorify himself. Everything He did was to glorify God. Christ's celeb status was brought about by stupid men. Jesus didn't ask for it. He was totally selfless and surrendered Himself to God's Will. He spoke the Truth for all to hear, even if they didn't want to hear it.

Elvis presley did not serve Jesus Christ. He served himself and people. He grew heavy bank accounts. He bought gold plated things to hourde. He did many drugs. He committed adultery. He worked long and hard to glorify himself. He was the epitome of IDOLATRY. He was one big SINNER. Even the devil will speak some truth or do some good, just to deliver a huge lie or some sin. Elvis, in all his sequins and smirky grins, knew what he was doing. Anyone who truly knew the Word of God and all the commands that go with it would obviously know what is sinful. Elvis willfully chose his path. Every time he wiped his forehead clean with a towel, and gave it to some screaming woman, he smiled, knowing what he was doing. HE WAS A GOD. Millions of women worshipped Elvis, as well as many people altogether. There was a church dedicated to worshipping him. He sucessfully did Satan's work better than anyone I can think of. Just think about all the poor and needy people who have suffered, all the while Elvis was having cars gold plated. The man served himself. He did not follow Jesus Christ.

Jesus told the rich man to give up all his possessions to follow Him. The man could not do it. What makes Elvis any different? He ignored Jesus Christ. When Elvis sang about God, he was singing about SATAN.

Now ask yourself if you believe Elvis will go to Heaven. God takes those who live "behind the scenes". Those who disregard their own needs fo those of others. Goodwill servants. Those who throw away their worldly lives to spread the TRUTH about the Holy Bible. Elvis did not do these things. He became filthy stinking rich. Even worse, he brought millions to their knees in front of him! He led others to SIN.

I think we will all be very surprised when we find out that ALL the glorious people of the world will have no glory in God. If you live this life like there's no other, then this WILL be your last one.
Peter Ramsay
# Peter Ramsay
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:32 PM
Living a good life and performing good works does not get one an inch closer to Heaven or acceptance by God. Someone who has been genuinely saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ will want to do good works and please the Lord 'after' salvation. That is a sign of new life within and gratitude for what Christ did on the Cross.

But trying to follow the footsteps of Christ is not the way to Heaven. Repentance toward God for your sins and faith in Jesus Christ alone - plus nothing else is the only way to have eternal life and to be sure of Heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:30-31. John 3:36

This website did not suggest that Elvis is in Heaven. It asks the question! If Elvis trusted Christ as his Saviour - he's there. If he didn't he's not. It's just that simple according to the Bible.

justin anderson
# justin anderson
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:45 AM
Elvis Presley was a great singer. his style was unique and very classy. This is a nice post about his life. I really found it very interesting and full of information.
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# philipscarter
Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:56 AM
It's so good to hear this statement in his own voice. I have heard about this statement many times. What a wonderful soul. So humble when his fans wanted to put him on a throne.
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cyril dickson
Friday, May 11, 2012 10:28 PM
Elvis presley was a great man a man under a lot of pressure of the world ,did not have a normal life could not go to church like a normal christian however he was a believer in Christ,Jesus forgive the murderer on his last moments of life on the cross,We dont know what happend the last minute in the bathroom when elvis was found dead.He was reading a book seeking the face of Christ,as far as i know if u seek the FACE OF CHRIST u will found him.and one thing, no one knowns what happend after dead.Dont be suprised when you see th king one day with the King of Kings !!!
Thursday, August 16, 2012 8:34 PM
Elvis Presley WAS SAVED. He rededicated his life back to Jesus with Rex Humbard and his wife Maude Aimee. He also told his step brother of his decision to follow Christ ONE HOUR before he died. Yes he is in heaven.
Saturday, October 06, 2012 4:59 AM
I find it staggeringly shocking at how many claim to be Christian and at the same time be oblivious to the clear teaching of scripture which commands holiness and separation from the world, and have the audacity to state that Elvis is in heaven. I am now on YouTube debating dozens of people, some who claim to be Christian, on the matter of Elvis Presley's spiritual standing. I am disturbed to find those claiming to be Christians being under the same idolatrous adulation for Elvis as the unbelievers. They become infuriated when I state that according to the way he lived Elvis can only be in eternal punishment. And the number one rebuttal is that Elvis sang many gospel songs as though that were the test of a true Christian. I point out that at his final moment Elvis was living in fornication with Ginger Alden, had embraced polytheism, metaphysics, and mysticism, was heavily drugged when he went to the restroom and the investigative team found a porn magazine near his body instead of a Bible as some claim. Till his dying moment Elvis displayed decadence and rebellion against God and there is no possible way that a special clause, provision or loophole was Biblically provided to exempt Elvis Presley from reaping what he sowed and furthermore I find it difficult to believe that he lived his best life on earth and because he was a mess that God somehow saves him at the last second and also allows him the blissful eternity reserved for faithful and fruitful followers of Christ. That would clearly underestimate the biblical teaching of losing one's life now to enjoy eternal life later. Elvis' charm, good looks, talent, and mesmerizing and electrifying persona/image found commonplace with all sinners and religious alike. Elvis was that wolf in sheep's clothing who became an anti Christ image for the world to marvel at. His spirit of lust, decadence, rebellion, self will and spiritual contradiction still linger even after 35 years after his death. People desperately want Elvis. They want him to return from the dead. They want to meet him. They want to see him in heaven. Many refuse to believe he is dead and that he is living in the White House. They made him out to be a god image. People do not want God but they want Elvis Presley. I believe he was placed in this world to gather unto wrath all the enemies of Christ and religious alike who will be shocked when the end comes and they are cast into eternal torment.
# Creed
Monday, April 08, 2013 11:49 PM
Friend, lets remember Jesus' parable of the workers in the vineyard.... Elvis could have chose Christ at his final moments of life & he would have been saved. Also, all of the actions that people use to say he was damned are not proof. Remember faith alone saves so that no man can boast... If works don't gain salvation then they cannot cause you to lose salvation. Like stated on the article "it's between Elvis and God"
Anonymous User
# Anonymous User
Thursday, June 27, 2013 9:52 PM
Janet Dougall
# Janet Dougall
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 8:08 PM
What about David. He sinned and God called David, a man after God's own heart!
cyril dickson
Monday, August 05, 2013 8:15 AM
I think its wise not to debate about Elvis life after death,i think we must look at our owen life and relationship with God and what will happend if we cross that line.I really would like Elvis to be in heaven surely would like to see him there one day.
# wilbur
Monday, August 05, 2013 1:27 PM
David did not live a life of sin. He had a season of sin, repented, turned away from the sin, and reaped the awful fruits of his sin. He was a man after God's own heart because he hated injustice from his youth but his human frailties did cause him a great downfall. In the end David was a repented man. Not unlike Elvis who displayed rebellion until his last dying moment and never gave any fruit of being Christian. I don't see a shred of biblical evidence pointing to Godliness in Elvis Presley, because there simply wasn't any
# Wilbur
Monday, August 05, 2013 4:24 PM
This page is dedicated to Elvis and open for debate of his afterlife. I am saying he is in eternal punishment because he was not saved. I am biblically positive that those who go to heaven will not see him but instead see his twin brother Jesse Garon. We will have an Elvis lookalike if they were identical twins. Elvis got to live the lavish sinful lifestyle. Jesse got to bypass life on earth and has been enjoying peace and safety with God for over 70 years now
# Wilbur
Monday, August 05, 2013 4:55 PM
And to Creed, the biblical test of Christianity is to deny oneself and follow Christ's example of doing His father's will. While salvation is not earned based on works, Christian fruit is displayed in the lives of true followers. Sorry, according to the biblical test of Christianity Elvis simply wasn't one of them . We cannot say a prayer of salvation and go our merry way and display lack of love for Christ and lack of obedience towards his commandments and expect to enjoy the bliss of heaven. It's either your worst life now (in comparison to heaven) and your best life in heaven or your best life now and your worst life after in eternal punishment. We can't have it both ways
Peter Ramsay
# Peter Ramsay
Monday, August 05, 2013 6:47 PM
Wilbur - with due respect, it is not a Christian's place to say dogmatically and emphatically where a person is in eternity. That is between the individual and God alone. If the person looked to Christ for salvation - they are in Heaven. If they never had a moment of faith in Jesus Christ - then their soul is lost. We can make that statement safely from the Scriptures - but we cannot turn around and say definitively what has taken place between an individual and God
# Jaffa
Friday, August 30, 2013 11:35 AM
What is it about Christians that makes them think that the world revolves around them.I'm Buddhist I like Elvis for his music and I dont believe in Christian Dogma.
Sunday, October 13, 2013 5:07 PM
Yes, as a saved Christian myself, I know that God put the right people such as this one in his life to lead him to Christ..In one of his concerts a fan yelled out to him that he was the king..He answered her by saying Thank you honey, but there is only one king and I'm not him..That sounds like he knew and professed Jesus Christ..I think heaven will be just a little sweeter with him there...
Saturday, November 09, 2013 10:48 AM
It is not humans place to judge Elvis is free in Jesus or not is not the issue here.Jesus Christ taught us to forgive and be forgiven,also many people who follow Jesus real teaching know Gods grace is greater than my sin.see Joseph Prince etc.but of course before that read the living word of too those who judge,remember the long lost son parapel and start using the true faith.
Mitchell Johnson
# Mitchell Johnson
Monday, February 17, 2014 10:38 PM
I find this article and the subsequent messages fascinating. I think we ALL wish and HOPE that Elvis is in heaven right this moment. The Bible teaches that you will know an individual's soul by the fruits that they bear. Elvis did not leave very good fruit for us to characterize him as being a Christian by. Could he have accepted Christ as his personal savior near the very end of his life and simply not had time to bear Christian fruit before he passed away? Absolutely. I have heard a similar story about cinematic legend John Wayne. The story goes with the "Duke" that he actually accepted Christ on his deathbed before he died. I think that the "best" case scenario pertaining to Elvis is that he was a babe in Christ that never matured to be a full blown dynamic Christian. Just think what he could have done for the Lord with his world-wide appeal if he had been of such a mind and spirit to. And on the other hand of course, the worst case scenario is that Elvis died lost and undone, and is doomed forever to a Satan's hell cut off from Jesus. Friends, we can debate this for eternity, yet none of us can change Elvis' plight. What was done was done. What we can do is from here forward, live our own lives in such as way as to be pleasing to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And those of us that are unsaved, need to repent (to turn away from our old ways), ask forgiveness from our sins, and accept Christ as our Lord and Savior into our hearts. The sinner's prayer is the ONLY prayer that Christ hears from a lost individual. I'm not a pastor, and I am FAR from perfect, but I love my Lord Jesus.
robin blau
# robin blau
Monday, January 05, 2015 4:00 PM
Well said, Mitchell Johnson, biblical and truthful. There are Christians who are saved of course but are baby Christians, carnal, and struggling in their faith. The Bible says we are daily conformed to be more like Christ, but our free will which God graciously gave us permits to make good decisions and bad decisions. Each of us is so different before salvation and so different after. The Apostles who followed Jesus so faithfully still were made of flesh and until we (Christians) get to heaven, we will struggle and sin. If one continued to hurt others without guilt or repentance (sorrow and change of heart) and did not seem to show any real positive changes, some might question whether the original "decision to accept /trust Jesus" was sincere, the presence of the Holy Spirit (which bible talks about in Romans and many other places) in the "believers" life does not seem very evident. Usually a true believer(1) has some desire to read the Bible, ((2) to pray and talk to God of Bible (3) desire to tell others about Jesus and/or how their lives has changed (4) desire to be with other Christians ( 5) a growing uncomfortableness with untruthfulness, vulgarity, (6) a growing compassion for others, especially family, poor, vulnerable, sick and unsaved.
The above changes don't happen over night but they happen because of our Saviour, who gave Himself up for us... gratefulness because of God's mercy, joy because of God's grace and super plan for our life.
Anonymous User
# Anonymous User
Monday, October 26, 2015 4:45 PM

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