HUNTERSVILLE – The pastor wore Michael Jordan high tops. A DJ mixed tunes for the prelude music. A slam poet gave her testimony.
It was not your grandma’s gospel service.
Pastor Quinn Rodgers, 31, launched GeneratiONE Church on May 31, infusing hip-hop concepts into Christian worship. Over 100 people attended the service held at Lake Forest Church-Huntersville.
“I am a hip-hop head,” Rodgers said. “I was born in the 80s, the golden years of hip hop.”
Rodgers used rapper The Notorious B.I.G. to illuminate Romans 6:13, which speaks of salvation bringing new life. “Life After Death” was the name of B.I.G’s second album, released in 1997.
Slam poet, Latoya Hoskins, told her own story about finding new life after past addictions to cocaine and alcohol:
“Jesus got a hold of my life
Giving me so many reasons to live
Breaking strongholds of treason in the process
So don’t you dare count me out yet.”
College students danced to a song called “God’s Got It,” and when the seven worship singers cranked up with DJ, base, drums and keyboard, a graphic of subwoofers pulsed across the screen behind them.
The rapping pastor, though, was the most unique part of the service. At the beginning of his sermon, Rodgers started rapping, “Ain’t no party like the Holy Ghost party because the Holy Ghost party don’t … stop.”
The congregation repeated the line in this new take on traditional call and response.
Instead of saying amen, Rodgers said, “Let me hear you say,’ Oh yeah,’” and the congregation rapped back.
A hip-hop church in Huntersville? Oh yeah.