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John Calvin might have liked Christian hip-hop music, according to Jesus Bayona.

“Christian hip-hop is, for the most part, Reformed,” said Bayona, who pastors a brand-new emerging Christian Reformed church in Port St. Lucie, Fla. “The music is very theological.”

Bayona’s congregation, Word of the Cross, runs a hip-hop ministry called Luminosity. The group regularly performs at high schools, colleges, churches, and parks in Florida.

Most of the church’s members grew up in the hip-hop subculture. “We were defined by hip-hop. It was our god,” said Tony Baptiste, who sings in Luminosity. Then Baptiste and his friends found Jesus. “Things about [hip-hop] culture were redeemable. We decided we’re going to do what we did for our glory to the glory of our God [instead.]”

Bayona was the first of his friends to become a Christian. He led friends from his youth into a growing Christian group that became like a family. He is currently preparing to be ordained in the CRC.

“People have always looked to me for spiritual encouragement,” Bayona said. “I’ve always been thrust into leadership positions without even asking for it.”

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