Blending Music and Ministry
Twenty-one years ago, Lon C. Harris, a high-school student known for his lyrical skills as a rapper, engaged in a friendly rap battle with his classmates. In the contest he first heard the three letters of his first name broken apart phonetically. The moment proved providential, as years later Elohin (pronounced El-o-in) became the moniker of the Detroit-based Christian rapper and credentialed Assemblies of God minister.
Elohin released his latest album “Broken Narrative” under his own music platform. In 2018, he launched Change Factor Entertainment (CF Entertainment).
“My broken narrative was growing up in Detroit, in the hood, in a single-family home,” says Elohin, now husband to Paullete for 14 years and father to 11-year-old Nehemiah and 7-year-old Malachi. “I had no father around. I was searching for identity, acceptance, and purpose.”
When Elohin accepted Christ, he started to put together the pieces of his fragmented story, including meeting his father for the first time as an adult. Closure and healing from years of pain led to forgiveness.
Following his desire to serve in ministry led the passionate young Christian and his wife to Rock Church, an Assemblies of God congregation in Fair Haven, Michigan. Called to deeper service, he enrolled at Global University, gaining ministerial credentials with the AG in 2013.
Elohin joined Michigan Youth Alive in 2017, serving as a U.S. missionary associate and now functioning as assistant director. Working with youth presented him with the unique opportunity to blend his musical abilities with ministry outreach.
“When we’re at school assemblies, I usually do something on stage and they go crazy because they're not expecting that,” Elohin jokes. “They’re like, Whoa, it’s 10 o'clock in the morning, I’m in the auditorium of my school, and this dude just spit some bars!”
He also works as next generation pastor at Richmond Christian Church, an AG congregation in Lenox. Overseeing both student ministry and children’s ministry allowed outreach to young people in the community during an especially difficult season of COVID-19 and race-relation challenges in the country.
“Pastor Lon is an incredible example to the young people of what a godly man looks like,” says Jim E. Vance, Richmond Christian Church lead pastor. “He’s real, authentic, and at times raw, and they like that.”
While starting the ministry from the ground up, the youth pastor’s focus is developing a group of children and teens that is culturally diverse and knows the Word of God.
“With kids and teens, identity, knowing Christ, and not listening to what the world tells them to do or who they are, is the biggest issue right now,” Elohin says. “Especially with the gender pronoun issue, kids are getting so bombarded that it's hard to navigate. If they don't have Christ, it makes it much more difficult.”
The once broken pieces of a young boy’s life now find purpose in impacting the next generation of youth, who Elohin believes also struggle with identity-related issues.
“He especially has a heart for young men and boys who are fatherless because he knows firsthand how it feels to be fatherless,” Vance says. “He can empathize.”
Elohin also works with the Power of Dad mentorship organization in Saginaw, founded by former All-American athlete, author, and entrepreneur Brian Pruitt. This unique program serves boys and girls who experience the absence of a father, teaching them 20 important life skills to succeed. Youth Alive partners with Power of Dad, functioning as a team to reach children.
As he juggles the daily responsibilities of a thriving independent hip-hop artist and the duties of vocational ministry, Elohin recalls encouraging messages: a fan attesting that a certain song helped him through a difficult season, or a message from a student in the ministry expressing gratitude for the prayers that kept him on the right path.
“I think back to my own life when I was growing up,” Elohin says. “I look at what I didn't have, and I understand how important those things are. I say, Lord use me in that role in someone else's life to be that person for them.”