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Keepin’ it Holy: Hip Hop Leader’s Devotions Born Out of an Angry Heart
By Shawn Maree McCowan

Rejection. Failure. Drugs. Crime. Violence. By the time Jason Queen was 14, he had experienced it all.

“I had dreams and goals of playing basketball and going to college, but by the time I was 14, I didn’t care about anything,” said Jason, who now leads Bible studies for Rock Steady, the hip hop dance ministry at the Rock Church.

Jason Queen

His mother would take him to church in their small town in Wisconsin, but because his father was away much of the time working to provide for the family, Jason didn’t know how to fill the void.

“People would make fun of me because I was poor, I was chubby. I felt rejected,” he said. He turned to his older cousins, who were in gangs. Then, he turned to drugs.

‘Scum of the Earth’

“I would take stuff to escape the reality of my life,” he said. Soon, he was not only doing drugs but selling them, and carrying weapons to protect himself.

When the pastor tried to force him to go to school, Jason took a swing at him with a knife. “My pastor tried to help, but I hated him because he tried to be my dad.”

“I would take stuff to escape the reality of my life.”

After running away several times and being kicked out of his home, the state took charge, sending him to a foster home and a new school.

“I was labeled with oppositionally defiant disorder,” he said. He was prescribed a medication on which he promptly began to overdose, because it was like the drug speed.

“It was one thing after another,” says Jason. “I was always running and never getting anywhere. I hurt a lot of people and did a lot of bad things. I was the scum of the earth for awhile.”

“It was the worst point of my life. My cousin had died,” said Jason. People were searching for him to kill Jason as well. But before they could find him, he was sent to New York, to a home for troubled teens.

"God completely intervened or I would have died before I got there.”

'God Opened My Eyes'

“God brought me out in His perfect timing. God completely intervened or I would have died before I got there,” he said.

While at the home, Jason was so emotionally scarred that he finally opened up to hear the truth of the gospel.

“I was between 15-16 years old, and one of the staff shared his testimony. That night God opened up my eyes. I had nothing. I heard about God a lot there and before, but that night I cried. I realized my whole life the devil was the one who was punkin’ me. He was the one who was calling the shots, I wasn’t the one making decisions like I thought I was.”

Jason says God’s command to him was clear: “He said, ‘I want you to be the same way for me that you were in the street: bold, reckless, out there.’ I ended up on staff at the program. I worked there eight years helping kids find Christ, find hope.”

Sharing God’s Story

Perhaps it is his hardcore experiences that makes him so driven to speak to audiences filled with teens as troubled as he once was.

Jason leading the devotional with the Rock Steady ministry

He has traveled the country, speaking to youth in prisons, schools, special events, television and radio.
“God knew I would share His story and I did,” he said.

Jason left New York to attend the Horizon School of Evangelism in 2007. The night he arrived, a friend told him to visit Rock Church, and he has attended there ever since. He also began to tour the West Coast, speaking to kids wherever he could. He also encourages the Rock Steady ministry’s dance team each week, in the hour-long discipleship training that follows their Monday night dance class. His main focus is to help the dancers “keep it holy” in today’s culture.

“I’m currently working on a system to take over San Diego,” he said. “I believe we can change the world in 50 years.”

Whatever the system, Jason’s message will be the same: “The necessity to have a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ because there’s no other hope. God has a plan for your life but it’s not found in anything other than Jesus Christ.”

See the related story on Rock Steady, the Rock Church’s hip hop dance ministry.

For more information about the Hip Hop (Dance) Ministry, click here »