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 girl as she walked home from the pool.
And how that young Christian gave him life rather than have an abortion.
Lovins tours the country singing with his band and telling people about forgiveness, redemption and the depth of God’s love from a perspective that is both heart-wrenching and heartwarming.
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 gained national attention.
Things typically get quiet when Lovins tells of being 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.
Being raised by his mother and grandparents, his very first memory is 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 clear that even though he didn’t have an earthly father, Jason had a heavenly Father who loved him more than he could even know. He grew up secure in a loving family as well as the family he had at church.
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. The fact is that I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me.”
Lovins received a love of music from his family, especially his grandmother. 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 joined a group of musicians who met together at the Baptist campus ministry each day at 4 p.m. at Morehead State University, where they jammed 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,” Lovins said. The 4 O’Clock Band had some early success playing youth camps and churches, and it was around this time that he started telling his story.
“I think I realized that I could help people by telling my story,” Lovins recounted. “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 she discovered that she wasn’t alone in the world.”
It was two years later that Lovins folded the 4 O’Clock Band, and the Jason Lovins Band was launched with new members. The group started honing their sound and developed an impressive following, which led to a booking one summer to lead worship at a LifeWay Centrifuge camp. After that, the band began touring, with requests from churches, state conferences, revivals and student camps.
Today, the band — with Lovins, Jose Mendoza, Rodney Mora, Ryan Smith and Aaron Crozier — continues to be popular with all age groups.
— Mark Maynard is managing editor of Kentucky Today (kentuckytoday.com), an online news service of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.