Preach it, Teech (reporting from Santa Ana, Calif.): For California minister, rap music is a way to reach a new generation.
SANTA ANA, Calif. — As Jason “Teech” Darden grabs a microphone, loud music pulsates.
The audience — a group of urban students invited to a Saturday mentoring event — cheers as Darden begins to rap.
“Turn it up right here,” the Christian hip-hop artist instructs as he grooves to the rhythmic beat.
Darden, 34, sports an Oakland Raiders cap, a black hooded sweatshirt and camouflage pants as he invites the children gathered at Martin R. Heninger Elementary School to repeat the lyrics.
“I said, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart!’” he declares again and again.
Twenty-four hours later, Darden dons a different wardrobe — a white, button-down shirt, dark slacks and shiny brown shoes — as he steps to the pulpit of the 200-member Mission Viejo Church of Christ.
In each venue, he expresses the same passion: his love for Jesus Christ.
“For Teech, it’s always been about spreading the Word,” said Marcus Thompson, a West Oakland Church of Christ member collaborating with Darden and Anthony Nelson to create the hip-hop label Kerusso Music.
This story appears in the February 2016 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.