“She’s going to hell,” someone in the congregation said. Wooden continued, “So it’s not a good deal. I don’t care what [the devil] gives you.”
“But this piece of trash that’s released, and she named it ‘Church Girl.’ Now, I had thought to try to read the lyrics to you, but I struggled to listen to them,” Wooden said, characterizing the song as “not for public consumption,” adding that it would be a “desecration” if he publicly read the lyrics in the church service.
Addressing the samples in “Church Girl” taken from a gospel track written by Elbertina “Twinkie” Clark in 1981, Wooden said, “I don’t know whether [Clark] knew what [Beyoncé] was going to do with the song or not, but she knows she’s not saved…I pray to God that a stiff denunciation of what she did with that song is put out.”
“Don’t nobody respect the church,” Wooden said. “What’s sad is this—there will be church people who will defend it!”
Wooden’s words were somewhat prophetic, as R&B singer Durrell “Tank” Babbs Sr. later came to Beyoncé’s defense in a social media post. Tank attended a Lutheran high school and holds an honorary doctorate from Harvest Christian University.
“I want to start off today’s message with Romans 10:9-10, which says, ‘If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shall believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved,’” Tank said. “Those are the only requirements for salvation.”
“Who are you, you pastor, to question the salvation of Beyoncé? Who gives you the authority and that right to question what she believes, what she has confessed with her mouth and what she believes in her heart? Because of a song sung on top of a Clark Sisters record,” Tank continued.
Commenting that “church girls twerk,” Tank said of Wooden, “Whatever world you are living in that seems to be above us, it is not a real one.”
Citing the New Testament story of a woman caught in adultery being brought before Jesus, Tank said, “Now, pastor, you are throwing a lot of stones. I hope your ledger is squeaky clean…You talk as if you are not one of us. You are one of us. You are a sinner, just like all of us; saved by grace, just like all of us.”
“He without sin cast the first stone,” Tank concluded.