Some people are candid about their challenges in life….the struggles they encounter, the obstacles to overcome, and even the testing of faith. Having the courage to be honest about the challenges in life can lead to divine inspiration, and maybe even give another person the resolution to turn their own life around.
Jason Lovins, leader and founder of The Jason Lovins Band, eclipses the word candid. He has turned his life’s beginnings into a stirring testimony, even though the negativity of it could have turned him towards seclusion, bitterness, or to be silent altogether. You see, Jason’s mother was raped when she was 15-years-old and Jason is the baby she carried full-term after the incident.
Jason was born into a Christian family where abortion is not an option, no matter what the circumstances. When it became evident that his mother, Lisa, was pregnant the first thing his grandma 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 at 3-years-old when he attended his mother’s high school graduation. 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.
However, there were times when Jason was growing up that he didn’t always discuss what happened to him. “When I was young, I would lie about it and make up a story to explain where my dad was,” remembers Jason. “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.”
“One of the girls who worked there would refer to us as the 4 O’Clock Band, and it stuck,”
Another thing Jason received from his family, and especially his grandma who was like a second mother to him, was the love of music. Jason remembers going to church and hearing her Gospel group perform and that’s when Jason started performing…..playing guitar and singing with the ensemble.
His musical tastes weren’t limited to a steady diet of Christian and Gospel music either. “My mom enjoyed secular artists,” explains Jason, “so I grew up listening to Bon Jovi, The Eagles, Michael Jackson, among others. I also fell in love with Garth Brooks’ music and my dream was to come to Nashville and be the next Garth Brooks!”
It was during high school that Jason got into Contemporary Christian music, and it changed his life. The music spoke to his soul and the Lord really used groups like Third Day, Big Tent Revival and Michael W. Smith to reach Jason spiritually. And since Smith is from Jason’s birth town of Kenova, WV, he became a huge inspiration to this small town boy.
But it was in college, at Morehead State University in Kentucky, where many major developments took place for Jason and the Lord started carving out a path with a music ministry for this talented young man. In 2000, he met a group of musicians who met at the student center each day at 4 pm, where they jammed daily and made music for Jesus. So diligent they were about starting every day at the same time, they got their name that way.
“One of the girls who worked there would refer to us as the 4 O’Clock Band, and it stuck,” says Jason. The 4 O’Clock Band had some nice early success playing youth camps and churches, and it was around this time that Jason 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,” said Jason. “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/musicianship and started developing an impressive following along the way, 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.
The continued success has led to The Jason Lovins Band releasing their 4th album, Promises, in January 2013. It features three songs co-written by the band members and the other nine songs from fellow songwriters they know and respect. And as you listen to the new album with songs such as He Can Fix It All or Prayer Will See You Through, it will strike you like a flash. The music that Jason Lovins creates is his venue to encourage others.
“The band’s heart was to set out and record an album full of songs we thought the church would hopefully connect with, and I feel we’ve done that,” says Jason. “This was a different process for us because we started asking friends who were songwriters to send their music and the songs started pouring in. We didn’t want to feel like we had to write this album, so once we got the songs lined up the whole theme of God’s Promises just seemed to be the tone of the project.”
And one song in particular speaks the most to Jason’s personal walk of faith. “My cousin wrote the Grass is Greener and it was the first song I heard that I knew would be on the album,” says Jason. “We had co-written several times before and I just love his style of writing, and this particular song just blew me away. It’s such a beautiful picture of heaven and told in such a neat way. There are just a few lines that get me every time I sing them. This bag of broken bones will have a home, and they will dance for you/These blinded eye’s will open wide to see the miracles you do/ the grass is greener there with you/this heart that sleeps will start to beat when it is given life with you. To me, the last line is the best as I just love it.”
The Jason Lovins Band tours quite extensively throughout the southeast and northeast, and stays on the road 40 weeks a year. Their journey has given the band members; Jason Lovins, Jose Mendoza, Rodney Mora, and Chasen Little, the chance to share the stage with such legendary performers as Michael W. Smith, MercyMe, Kari Jobe and Big Daddy Weave among others. The group has also performed at Billy Graham events that included writing the song Journey for a BGEA TV Special.
However, for Jason it’s the audience he’s singing to and the lyrics he’s delivering that matters the most to him. “My goal is to allow God to speak to every member of the audience through me. I have one point when leading worship where I talk and give my testimony, and then I also spend a good amount of time after the shows talking with people. Either way I connect with them, I’d like them to leave and take home the message that there are always choices—and not to blame God for the bad things that have happened to them.”
The album Promises will draw listeners in with its varied styles and songs that range from infectious pop, to a straight out rocker, or an old time Gospel rave up such as Only The Blood. But in the end, the album is the fruit of an artist who stayed faithful and kept walking through a trial that could have stopped him dead in his tracks, but he kept going.
“I consider myself so lucky,” says Jason. “I’m so grateful to my mother and her pro-life decision, and have a loving grandmother who helped raise me and was like a mother to me also. Through my music, my prayer is for others to see that there are always choices.”