Willie Nelson has taken his love of gospel to the max - by buying a church. The country legend surprised the congregation at the Methodist church in his hometown of Abbott, Texas on Sunday (02JUL06) when he performed gospel songs and announced his plans to preserve the 107-year-old building. Nelson was joined by his sister BOBBIE and pal LEON RUSSELL. The church closed its doors in May (06) after the congregation merged with another United Methodist Church nearby. But Nelson was determined to bring church-goers back to the old building, explaining during Sunday's service that he and his sister had been regulars since they were kids. He told the congregation, "Now, you're all members of the Abbott Methodist Church, and you will be, forever and ever." Nelson's new church comes days after the country great launched his own satellite radio station, WILLIE'S PLACE. He also owns a biodiesel company, called BioWillie.