A new church that embraces rap and hip hop music is set to open its doors in Huddersfield.
Leeds man John Jaiyesimi is launching the Potter’s House brand of church in a bid to engage more young people.
Pastor John, 29, is moving his wife and two children from Leeds to launch the church, which will regularly hosts concerts that feature rap, hip hop and heavy bass sounds.
Pastor John said he was keen to expand the Potter’s House movement, a non-denominational Christian church founded in the USA in 1970.
“It’s very different to what people think of as a church,” he admitted.
“I came across it in 2006 when I decided to resume going to church.
“Before the sermon, the minister did a reggae song and that completely threw me.
“I’ve been involved with it ever since.
“We’ve grown it in Leeds and now I’m doing something similar in Huddersfield starting from scratch.”
The church is currently using the Hudawi centre as its base but John is looking for a permanent venue that the church can use for the entirety of Sundays.
He said he was very excited at the prospect of reaching out to the community of Huddersfield, and trying to bring change to lives.
“We’re targeting youth mainly,” he said.
“In the last 50 to 60 years there’s been a mass exodus of 16 to 25-year-olds in churches. Most see religion as irrelevant.
“I want to challenge that perception and bring loads of different personalities into church.
“The church in Leeds is completely mixed and I hope it will be that way in Huddersfield.”
As for the rap music – a genre typically linked with profanity and misogyny - Pastor John said rappers at his church would be far more wholesome.
“The main thing about our raps is they will be about a love of God and challenging people to make positive choices.
“We want them to say to teenagers and young people, who might be into rap, you don’t have to waste your life; you can be better.
“A lot of people listen to rap music and a lot of it is about violence or treating ladies in a way that is not honourable.
“We’re going to do raps but we’re transforming it with a Christian message.”
Members from other churches around the country will initially come and perform for the Huddersfield congregation.
Any budding rappers that join the congregation will be supported until they are ready to perform.
To find out more, contact Pastor John on 07809 837404.