Pop singer Britney Spears has reportedly attended a church service where she and her mother cried, hugged and responded to an altar call.
According to a report in Scottish newspaper the Daily Record, Spears and her mom, Lynne, stopped by the service at the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, Calif., near Los Angeles, on the way to a photo-shoot.
The 22-year-old singer and her mother hugged one another and cried “as they got caught up in the highly charged ceremony,” the paper reported.
At the end of the sermon delivered by Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, the church’s senior pastor, he asked those who had been moved by the message to come forward. The Daily Record reports Spears and her mother then dried their eyes and walked hand in hand to the front of the church. Christian preachers often ask congregants to come forward if they want to make a public profession of faith in Christ.
According to the report, two bodyguards accompanied Spears into the church, which uses the Great Western Forum, former home of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, as its main sanctuary.
”Britney came in very quietly but lots of people spotted her. Some couldn’t believe that she was there,” the paper quotes one onlooker as saying. ”It was a really powerful, emotional service, and Britney was obviously very touched.”
The report states a television crew was filming the service, and some speculated Spears was merely trying to get publicity.
Karen Lewis, publicist for Faithful Central Bible Church, refused to confirm or deny that Spears attended a service.
Saying she considers visits to the church “very sacred,” whether the visitor is a celebrity or not, Lewis told WND the organization’s staff “don’t discuss those matters with the media at all.”
Spears, who has dumped her Southern girl-next-door image in favor of a grungy look, last made headlines when she married a childhood friend in Las Vegas and then had the marriage annulled 55 hours later. After the incident, the singer said she still believes in the sanctity of marriage.