Two white guys from Olathe, KS, a suburb within the greater Kansas City area, began making hip-hop music together a few years ago. Chris Halvorson (Hip Hop Theologian) and Jake Weakland (J-Weazy) were introduced and brought together by mutual friend, Bryce Reynolds, who deserves credit for piecing the dynamic duo that we now know as the Pearlescent Shepherds together! While their humor and desire to clown-around as often as possible may have you fooled, these two men are some of the most intelligent individuals you’ll end up meeting.
Chris, a recent graduate from Mid-American Nazarene University, studied biblical THEOLOGY, a word that scares away most amateur Christians, including myself. Jake has nearly completed an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in Relational Communication. Although, if you personally knew Jake, you’d be fully aware that he has no need for studying relationships, as he’s probably the most relational person you’ll meet. Give Jake five minutes with you, and every barrier that you may have had up will instantly be melted away by his authenticity. Then, present Chris with any questions/struggles that you are wrestling with, and he’ll be more than willing to get down in the mud and wrestle with the questions right alongside you, seeking the LORD in prayer, and digging into the Scriptures to find the most Biblical answer available.
Now, if the character of these men does not warrant that you listen to them, then let the music do the talking. Nearly four years ago, they “released” what was titled their “Daybreak:Mixtape.” Embracing their genuinely fun-loving and goofy personalities, the music was upbeat and filled with laughter, but surprisingly challenging to the listener. Then, in April, 2009, their first official album, “Click. Click. Saved.” dropped. Mix tape fans were blown away at the ridiculous legitimacy of the album, as it sought to exhort their fellow believers to realize that sin left them “Unfulfilled” and that it was time for them to embrace the “Glorious” and “Amazing” grace offered them as “Citizens” and “Children of Light.” While the last sentence was surely an attempt to incorporate as many of my favorite songs from that album as possible, it’s also extremely true.
Pause for a moment to realize that both of these men are young adults, seeking to make their way into the scary world, keep up with academic studies, work part/full-time, maintain healthy relationships (speaking of which, Chris just got engaged!), AND THEN on the side, they spend endless hours making music to glorify God! That takes a great amount of dedication, diligence, and discipline. Truly a testament to the work that the LORD has done in each of their hearts, especially over the course of the last couple years, which becomes beyond evident in their latest and greatest album, “Uprooted”.
Their main thesis for the album was that we must uproot from our lives and plant ourselves firmly in the Word of God. You can’t get a whole lot more biblical than that, can you? With humbled hearts, eyes set on Christ, and minds open to the powerful work of the Holy Spirit, they sought to encourage, empower, and entrust listeners with the message that we are to live above reproach, engage others with the Gospel, and do all we do for the glory of God, remaining firmly “Grounded” in the Bible.
It is due to the above reasons and so many more than I’ll bother to write about, that I highly endorse and promote the Pearlescent Shepherds! You will not be disappointed if you start listening to their music and staying up-to-date with both of their personal ministries. Speaking of which, Chris is currently leading a house-church named, “Lacham”, it’s Hebrew, ask him what it means and how it’s pronounced, I forget! Regardless of the house-church’s name, or meaning, the community that he’s developed with some others in Kansas City is quickly growing, seeking to make disciples, and reaching out to impact the greater KC area in amazing ways. Two hours away, in Manhattan, Jake is co-pastor of the house-church I’m gratefully a part of, named Rev79. Both men are learning to shoulder the heavy burden of leadership, driving them into deeper relationships with God, as they rely heavily on prayer to work out the difficulties of shepherding the spiritual lives of many restless college-students and young-adults. Join me in praying for these men as they continue to carry out the Great Commission, and to build up disciples that can then make other disciples, carrying on the legacy of Christ throughout every generation, until they breathe their last breath.
It is my hope and prayer that you would listen to their music, support their ministry, and encourage these brothers as you are able. May the peace of the LORD rest upon those who obediently love and serve their King. And may their music humble us all, calling us to repentance, and a deeper, more life-altering relationship with God, filled with hope and promise for the future that is to come. Let’s press into His promises together, friends!
Download their music here: http://pearlescentshepherds.bandcamp.com