Not Your Mama's Church

A multi-ethnic movement to reach leaders of the next generation.

Stephen Jean-Marie was born in the West Indies, never knew his father, experienced physical abuse, was kicked out of his home, started selling drugs, and at one point held a gun in his hand, intending to kill himself.

"Cue," as he's known, is also a talented rapper who by the early 1990s was a rising artist with a hit song, a Virgin Records contract, and performing before crowds as large as 60,000.

"I was living large but feeling empty. I started praying to God," he says. A friend invited him to church, where he received Christ, grew in his faith, but became disillusioned, seeing how few African-American churches were reaching his generation.

Another friend invited him to NewSong (www.newsong.net), a church in Irvine, California. "It's real," the friend said. "It's about reaching the next generation." Indeed, the average age is 28. They meet in rented facilities, but that doesn't seem to discourage any of the 2,000 worshipers.

Cue was so impressed that he joined the staff there. Today Cue, ...

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