James Lundstrom is a congregation member at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. According to Brother Lundstrom, Prince was extremely humble when he was at the meetings. Instead of introducing himself as Prince, he would say that his name was Rogers Nelson. Even when it came to drinking, Prince primarily stuck to a couple of glasses of red wine since Jehovah’s Witnesses drink in moderation.
Prince’s Journey to FaithAs a child, Prince grew up as a Seventh Day Adventist. He later became a Baptist for a number of years. When his mother became friends with Larry Graham, she was drawn to Jehovah. As a result, she dedicated her life to Jehovah and got baptized. In 2001, Prince's father died. His mother died just six months later. On her deathbed, Prince's mother expressed her dying wish that her son would one day become a Witness of Jehovah also.
For months after her death, Prince battled with depression. Ultimately, he decided to follow through on his mother's dying wish and accepted the truth in 2003. Through his religion, he found fulfillment. His wife, Manuela Testolini, got baptized during the same year, although the couple ultimately got a divorce in 2006. One year later, Prince started dating Bria Valente. After Prince produced her first album, Valente became a Witness as well.
Over the years, Prince went out in service in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. People were surprised to answer their door and find Prince standing before them with a magazine. While it may have been surprising, most people were accepting of his religion and attempts to talk about his faith.
On April 21, 2016, Prince passed away on his estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota. He was discovered alone and unresponsive. By the time paramedics arrived 25 minutes later, he was dead. Following an autopsy on the next day, speculation arose that he may have died from an opioid overdose. While his cause of death is not certain yet, he sought help for an opioid dependency the day before. It is thought that Prince began taking opioids to help cope with the stress of performances. His body was later cremated, and a private memorial was held for those people who were closest to him.
This is indeed a sad loss for the world, including those brothers and sisters that were his close friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. You may be surprised at how many celebrities are Jehovah’s Witnesses and proud to share their faith. Read up on our blog, “Famous Jehovah’s Witnesses.”