Published October 30, 2018
PIKEVILLE—Gospel singer Jason Lovins' life story keeps people on the edges of their seats as he confides that he was conceived in the rape of a 15-year-old Christian girl as she walked home from the pool and how that girl chose to give him life rather than have an abortion.
Lovins tours the country singing with his band and telling people about forgiveness, redemption and the incredible depth of God's love from a perspective that is both heartwrenching and heartwarming.
The Ashland native will share his story at the "Hope for the Mountains" crusade at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville on Nov. 11. The crusade begins at 6:30.
The Jason Lovins Band, based in Appalachia with its rich history of country and southern gospel music, has blended praise and worship music with the old hymns of the church for a unique sound that has earned rave reviews across the country.
Todd Gray, who leads the Kentucky Baptist Convention's evangelism team, said Lovins' riveting Christian testimony, coupled with his musical talents and his ties to the Appalachian region, made him a natural choice for the crusade. Lovins will be followed on stage by evangelist Jon Reed, the crusade preacher.
Things typically get quiet when Lovins tells about mother being raped and that he is the baby she gave birth to nine months later. He was born into a Christian family where abortion was not an option, no matter what the circumstances. When it became evident that his mother, Lisa, was pregnant the first thing his grandmother and mother did was go to church to pray about it. The answer was clear that this baby was to have life and to live it in glory to the Lord.
Jason was raised by his mother and grandparents, and his very first memory is of attending his mother's high school graduation when he was 3 years old. And what did the family tell him about his father? They made it very clear to him that even though he didn't have an earthly father, Jason had a heavenly Father who loved him more than he could even know.
With the support of a loving family, Jason was able to grow up secure in the love of those around him and, more importantly, with the family he had at church and his Father in Heaven.
Life wasn't simple for Lovins, who was sometimes uncomfortable explaining his situation.
"When I was young, I would lie about it and make up a story to explain where my dad was," he said. "It wasn't that I was embarrassed, as I accepted the actuality of my story at a very young age and was just fine with it. I felt like a normal kid. The fact is that I didn't want anyone feeling sorry for me, so I'd make something up."
Lovins received a love of music from his family, especially his Grandma who was like a second mother. He remembers attending church and watching her gospel group perform and that started his career playing guitar and singing with the ensemble.
In 2000, he met a group of musicians who would get together at the Baptist Student Mission at Morehead State University each day at 4 p.m., where they jammed daily and made music for Jesus. They were so diligent about starting every day at the same time, they were dubbed the 4 O'Clock Band.
"And it stuck," he said. The 4 O'Clock Band had some nice early success playing youth camps and churches, and it was around this time that Lovins started telling his story.
"I think that I realized that I could help people by telling my story and that is what God was speaking to me," he said. "At camp one summer I met a 16-year-old girl who was raped and had a baby from it. I shared my story and I believe that was the first time that she discovered that she wasn't alone in the world."
It was two years later that Jason folded the 4 O'Clock Band and The Jason Lovins Band was launched with new members. The group started honing their sound and, in the process, developing an impressive following, which led to a booking one summer of leading worship at a Lifeway Centrifuge camp. After that booking, The Jason Lovins Band became an official worship touring group with requests flowing in from churches, state conferences, revivals and student camps from across the country.
Today the band includes Lovins, Jose Mendoza, Rodney Mora, Ryan Smith and Aaron Crozier.
The Jason Lovins Band tours about 40 weeks a year through the southeast and northeast. In Kentucky, they have been an annual visitor to First Baptist Church of Pikeville and play at churches in his home area of northeastern Kentucky. (KT)
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