Michael Jackson, Steve Harvey, Jackson's brother Randy and Jackson's attorney Tom Mesereau Jr. surprised a group of 35 Sunday school children when they made an unannounced appearance at a Los Angeles church this weekend.
On Sunday, the day before a court date that will pit Jackson against prosecuting attorney Tom Sneddon, the group visited the First AME Church, Los Angeles' preeminent black church.
On his Web site, Jackson wrote of the visit: "It was wonderful to be received with so much love today by the First AME Church of Los Angeles. I thank my brother Randy and Pastor Cecil Murray for inviting me.
"God has always been in my heart and a part of my life and my family's lives," he continued. "It is through Him that we draw our strength. As a child, my mother taught me the value of prayer, and today it is still a part of my daily life."
Asked about his visit by ABC's "Good Morning America," Jackson said simply that he appeared at the church to "worship and see the children." One girl asked Jackson if the children could visit him at his Neverland Ranch, and Jackson told her, "You're welcome to come anytime."
On Monday (August 16), Jackson heads to court to address what the defense deems questionable actions by Sneddon that took place shortly before charges were filed against Jackson. Sneddon allegedly broke into private investigator Bradley Miller's Beverly Hills, California, office and photographed the building and its list of tenants.
Santa Barbara County sheriff's officials entered the office of Miller, who had been employed by Jackson's former attorney, Mark Geragos, and removed videotapes and files relating to Jackson's case.
Among the objects taken from Miller's office is a tape in which Jackson's accuser and his family are seen praising Jackson. The tape could be crucial to the prosecution, which claims that the family was forced into making the tape while being held hostage at Jackson's Neverland Ranch.
Jackson, as well as siblings Janet, LaToya, Jermaine and Jackie, and parents Joseph and Katherine, are reportedly expected to appear in court on Monday.
For full coverage of the Michael Jackson case, see "Michael Jackson Accused."
[This story was updated on 08.16.04 at 3:57 p.m. ET.]