Christian rappers encourage campus men

Churches aren’t usually associated with screaming, turntables, rockers and rappers, but Crossroads Church in Belton doesn’t mind.

Just before the fall semester began, Crossroads hosted its Back to School Bash where middle school through college-aged students enjoyed a free concert before the stresses of school began.

The event was part of the church’s 212generation program, which teaches 12-to-24 -year-olds how to live right and to be on fire for God.

We As Humans, a heavy metal rock band, and J-Nice the Kingdom Builder, an up-and-coming Christian rapper, performed at the beginning of the show, but most of the attention was given to another.

Rapper J-Nice sings in the Back to School Bash at the Crossroads Church in Belton. The concert was part of the church’s 212generation program which ministers to local youth. Members of Campus men grew closer through the rappers’ messages. Photo by Antonio Hebert/The Bells.


Well-known Christian Rapper Derek Minor, formerly known as Pro, was the show’s finale.

Freshman Christian ministries major Shane Longoria was part of a group of six who attended the concert with the university organization Campus Men.

“He produces a quality product. Everything about his music was solid, and he’s a Christian,” Longoria said.

Born Derek Johnson Jr., now rapper Derek Minor endured many trials to be performing on stages. He faced a life where his biological father lived several hours away, so music became his everything, his getaway.

Although he is a respected rapper, Minor also takes time to share what is on his heart during his performance.

Freshman Christian ministries major Tim Hite said, “The thing that stuck out to me the most was when he quit performing and started talking about our eternal purpose.” Minor hadn’t always been so eager to share the gospel, however.

After the death of his grandparents and his godmother, he realized that life wasn’t all he had thought it to be, so he surrendered himself and his talents to God.

He then released his debut album The Black Out, which caused a fuss for its lack of Christian focus.

“Lecrae and BJ challenged me to let the gospel truly affect my heart,” Minor said in an interview with

Lecrae was one of the first Christian rappers to capture the attention of the nation, and at that moment God used him to refocus Minor.

Now Minor shares the truth he has found in God. He just teaches a little differently.

“He has lyrical theology,” Longoria said “His lyrics are basically like sermons. He’s just preaching. He uses his time to preach the gospel.”

During the concert, Minor did just that.

“He said that when we die, are we going to leave a legacy that people remember, or are we just going to leave nothing behind,” Hite said.

After the concert, Campus Men began working on building relationships, and growing as godly men.

Group leader junior sport management major William Strebeck said, “Afterwards we just talked and enjoyed time in fellowship. I think it helped the guys that were there.”

Author: Tyler Agnew

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