Brian Welch is Baptized in Israel

Brian Welch speaks to MTV News
"God told me... he didn't say, 'Hey Brian!,' I just got a feeling in my heart," ex-KoRn guitarist says; former bandmate slams Welch's "false crusade".

Last month, Brian "Head" Welch shocked KoRn fans when he announced that he was quitting the band and dedicating his life to Christianity. He claimed that his transformation toward a life of spirituality was an ongoing one, and that he was a "baby christian... taking baby steps." Well, over the weekend, he took another of those steps.

On Saturday, Welch wearing a white robe and sporting a long beard was baptized in Israel's Jordan River, along with about 20 other members of the Valley Bible Fellowship, the Bakersfield, California, church in which he spoke two weekends ago. His pastor, Ron Vietti, performed the service.

Welch told MTV News that he decided to be baptized in the Jordan after receiving a divine message.

"God told me... he didn't say, 'Hey Brian!,' I just got a feeling in my heart that he was going to let me know something, I was going to be told something [in Israel]," Welch said. "Because the pastor is going to dunk me in the Jordan River, and when I come back here, I'm going to be a different person."

Upon returning from Israel on Wednesday, Welch will continue work on his solo album, and hopes to have it completed by the end of the year. But he's not the only one recording new material. His former band currently a four-piece is hard at work on its new album, with a tentative September release date in mind. And while the remaining members of KoRn have not responded to MTV News' requests for comment on the Welch situation, it's pretty clear how frontman Jonathan Davis feels about his former bandmate.

In a posting on his blog (now removed), Davis wrote, "I have been having fun watching my ex-guitar player bash us. What can I say, bro. I'm done with your false crusade. KoRn will keep 'polluting' the world as long as we have fans."

Welch said that he had no intention of "bashing" his former band. In fact, several times during the course of his interviews with MTV News, he went out of his way to praise KoRn.

"I wish them all the luck in the world," he said. "They'll be fine without me, because they're the most talented group of musicians I've ever known. Every single time I got in the room with those guys, it was nothing but professional and amazing. I don't want to hurt anyone, and I especially don't want to hurt those guys."
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