(CNN) -- Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician at the center of the homicide investigation into singer Michael Jackson's death, has resumed his practice.
Murray returned home to Houston, Texas, and was treating patients at the Armstrong Clinic where he practiced medicine before leaving to become Jackson's personal physician in April.
"I'm taking my life back step by step, and I wanted to come home and this is my home," he told congregants Sunday at the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in northwest Houston.
"And therefore, I am back to serve," he said, his eyes hidden behind a pair of sunglasses and his voice quivering. "This isn't easy for me. Mentally it's tough."
In a letter to CNN affiliate KPRC in Houston, Murray's lawyer said the physician returned to work out of a financial necessity.
"Because of a deteriorating financial condition and prompting by many of his beloved patients, on Nov. 20, 2009, Dr. Conrad Murray resumed his cardiology practice in Houston, Texas," said lawyer Ed Chernoff.
Chernoff added that Murray planned to attend to patients in Las Vegas as well, but the cost of reopening his clinic there was "prohibitive."
Murray told church members he saw 16 patients Friday, and each encounter was twice as long as a regular appointment because patients wanted to know how he was doing.
As he spoke, the church attendees stood and cheered. Later, they posed with him for photographs.
Murray did not specifically refer to Jackson. But he indirectly alluded to his troubles several times.
"All of the members of Galilee, all of my friends, I know what trouble is," he said at one point.
At another, Murray said: "I, with my companion, was only trying to help my fellow man, but it appears I was at the wrong place at the wrong time."
Jackson died on June 25 at his $100,000-a-month rented mansion in Holmby Hills. Murray was with him at the time and tried to revive him.
The Los Angeles County coroner ruled Jackson's death a homicide resulting from a combination of drugs, primarily propofol and lorazepam.
Murray told investigators he had given Jackson three anti-anxiety drugs to help him sleep in the hours before he stopped breathing.
Murray had been treating Jackson for insomnia for six weeks at the time of the singer's death. He told investigators he gave Jackson 50 milligrams of profol, the generic name for Diprivan, diluted with the anesthetic lidocaine every night via an intravenous drip.
Murray told police he was worried that Jackson was becoming addicted to the drug and tried to wean him off it.
During the two nights before Jackson's death, Murray said he put together combinations of other drugs that succeeded in helping Jackson sleep.
Los Angeles police have not decided whether Murray will be prosecuted in Jackson's death.