Two months after hosting Soul Surfer’s Bethany Hamilton, Fellowship Church in Grapevine is bringing in another big-name guest speaker: Rev Run, founding member of the influential hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. (and, yes, a practicing minister). It’s part of a new series led by Ed Young, founding pastor of Fellowship, a local megachurch. (Full disclosure: I’m a member.)
The two initially connected via Twitter (@RevRunWisdom, @edyoung), after re-tweeting things the other had posted. “He’s an amazing guy, and we thought it would be a great way to get his life-change story out there,” Young said.
The series, called “Run to the House” (a play on The Rev’s MTV reality show, Run’s House), kicks off this weekend. According to Young, it will have a family-focused theme: “It’s about how the house is the church of God, and that when we run to the house, we know how to run our house.”
Rev Run, whose real name is Joseph Simmons (he’s the younger brother of Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records and the creator of Phat Farm and other clothing lines), will speak with Young in Grapevine and Miami. (UPDATE: He will speak at the Oct. 22-23 services in Grapevine and Oct. 23 services in Miami.) Along with its home base, Fellowship has campuses in downtown Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth, and Miami. Simmons will be joined by his wife, Justine, with whom he wrote the book, Take Back Your Family: A Challenge to America’s Parents.
The Rev will be giving away signed pairs of sneakers (Adidas, of course), and likely will do some freestyle rapping–maybe even getting into a little battle with Young. The services also will feature special music. “We’ve written original hip hop songs about the family that are absolutely hilarious, but very deep, lyrically,” Young said.
Hamilton–the 21-year-old surfer whose story of returning to the sport after losing her left arm in a shark attack is the basis for the movie Soul Surfer–attracted a record-breaking 26,000 people to Fellowship’s Grapevine campus in August. Big crowds are expected for Rev Run, too. The service also will be available online beginning Oct. 24.