KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Over two performances, Kanye West’s “Sunday Service” show is expected to reach upwards of 20,000 people.

The first show, at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, is part of the Strength to Stand Youth Bible Conference. Conference leaders expect 11,000 students to attend the first showing.

The second show, at 3 p.m. on the same day, is open to the public — in the same space at The LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Ten thousand people can be accommodated if all of the tickets are sold. The second show was added after the conference sold out.

“How can we get the most amount of people to hear the gospel? That’s why we do this,” Scott Dawson, founder and CEO of Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association said.

Dawson’s group is the organizer of the Strength to Stand youth conference. He announced West would be the January headliner at the end of 2019, less than 3 months from the event itself.

“Eight weeks ago we didn’t know this was going to take place,” Dawson said.

When demand grew for West’s performance, conference leaders asked if he would consider adding another show. West agreed, adding that it should be open to the public.

“He’s going through a sanctification process. He’s been changed by Christ,” Dawson said.

Dawson said 160 members of the “Sunday Service” band and choir will join West for the performance. He’ll also be joined by his pastor, Adam Tyson, who will share a message of “love and hope,” according to Dawson.

“It’s a God story”

Strength to Stand is described on the event’s website as “a well-balanced, intense conference that will challenge your students to go beyond the surface of casual Christianity and bring them into a lifetime commitment to Jesus Christ.”

“We were dealt a severe blow,” Dawson explains, when one of the main headliners was removed due to a “moral failure.”

Through mutual friends, Dawson explains, he contacted Kanye West with the possibility of bringing his “Sunday Service” to fill the opening.

Dawson described when Kanye West told him, “I’m not considering it — I’m coming,” as a moment of shock.

From that point forward, Dawson said working with West’s team set the standard for future headliners.

The 3 p.m. start for the second show was even planned with church groups in mind. Dawson said they worked around local church schedules, so groups within 4-5 hours of Pigeon Forge would be able to attend morning services and make a day trip to East Tennessee.

“To this point every point we’re talked to them, it’s not about them, it’s about how they can serve us,” Dawson said.

What to know before you go

Tickets for the 3 p.m. public performance are available online.

A clear bag policy will be enforced for attendees for both shows and security screening will be required to enter The LeConte Center.

Pigeon Forge Police Chief Richard Catlett says the department is used to working large events at the center that include high profile guests, citing Dolly Parton and former President George W. Bush.

Catlett said the department will be working in partnership with West’s security team and will provide as many officers as required.

He notes there will be twice the number of attendees on Sunday than the first day of the conference, Saturday, Jan. 18.

“We’re all in for the safety and security of everybody, not just the celebrity,” Catlett said.

Trolleys will be running between the parking lot adjacent to The LeConte Center and the entrance. Catlett recommends planning extra time for parking based on the number of attendees on Sunday.

“With someone that’s a cultural icon like Kanye there will be enhanced security,” Dawson said.

West has taken the Sunday Service experience on the road. Performing at Coachella on Easter, and Houston.

The services accompany West’s newest Gospel-inspired album “Jesus is King.”