A new book called “The Faith of Elvis Presley” explores the spiritual side of the iconic “Heartbreak Hotel” singer, asserting that Elvis was a devout Christian who prayed for the infilling of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis.
The author, Billy Stanley, whose mother married Presley’s father Vernon in 1960, reveals that Elvis wanted to be like Jesus Christ, loving everyone and refusing to succumb to hate.
“My new book tells the spiritual side of Elvis to an extent that has never been told publicly before,” Stanley says. “I saw one of the most powerful men in the whole world get down on his knees and pray for other people, for the world. Elvis did that almost daily.”
The Spirit-driven life was at the core of his success as a performer and who he was as a man. His singing of gospel songs, such as “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Peace in the Valley,” wasn’t just an act or an homage to the tradition of his family.
“Elvis had the faith of a child,” says Presley’s brother, who used to have a job in the early 70s carrying Elvis’ big, well-worn Bible from city to city on his concert tour. “Elvis didn’t want to be like anyone else in the world. He just wanted to be like Jesus.”
Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and host of “Huckabee” on the TBN network, issued a statement about Stanley’s new book: “You haven’t met the real Elvis if you haven’t read ‘The Faith of Elvis.’ Billy Stanley shows us a side of the King we’ve never seen before—an older brother, mentor and follower of Jesus. Prepare to be blown away by a whole new glimpse into one of the greatest performers of all time.”
While having to deal with his own inner brokenness like any human being, the “king of rock ‘n’ roll” was spiritually energized, a characteristic increasingly seen as a key to his greatness and universally beloved status, according to his brother. Stanley contends that Elvis was unafraid to express his faith in Jesus Christ.
“How many rock concerts did you ever go to where there are two gospel songs sung right in the middle of it? Elvis was showing his fans his faith,” Stanley says. “And my brother’s fans can continue to have their own faith strengthened by the fact that Elvis is a brother in Christ whom you will see in heaven someday. Guaranteed.”
Stanley saw Elvis in a vision of heaven in 2018, in the midst of suffering a massive heart attack during which he was clinically dead for a few minutes:
“Elvis and I talked briefly in the vision. He said to me, ‘Tell all of my family, friends and fans I love them. And I’ll see them when they get here.’ This book is not just my attempt to share the message Elvis gave to me. I also want to reveal the true story of a great man,” Stanley adds.
“This is a story of faith, hope and love,” says Stanley. “My brother Elvis Presley was driven by his faith in God. Other people know Elvis as a fan or a producer or in some other capacity, but I knew him as a brother.”
People know Elvis worldwide for shaking his hips, starring in feel-good movies, making the 68’ “comeback” and dying at a relatively young age. But, with this new book, the “How Great Thou Art” singer can be seen in a new light.
“I hope people will get to know Elvis for how he prayed for the healing of others, studied his Bible daily, exercised the gifts of the Spirit, watched Christian programming of preachers on Sunday mornings, and used the biblical principle of sowing and reaping to see abundance in his life,” Stanley says.
The way Elvis lived out his faith, the way he sought the Lord Jesus with passion, the way he repented of his sins, and the way he depended on the Holy Spirit shatter the popular culture’s narrow conceptions, myths, distortion, false representations and revisionist history of the real Elvis.
Elvis arguably changed music and pop culture with his singing, movies and live performances over a half century ago. Posthumously, Elvis could change culture once again, but this time, to point people to Christ through the power of his testimony.
This testimony is captured in an intimate depiction that only a brother could tell in The Faith of Elvis Presley.
Anthony Hart is a freelance writer for Charisma Media.