Before Lecrae held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart for his newly released album Anomaly or sat in with The Roots on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, he was simply Lecrae Moore, a teenager who grew up on the south side of Houston without a strong father figure.
"I was surrounded by drugs and guns and gangs," Lecrae says in telling his story on the My Hope short film The Cross.
"I wrestled with a sense of insecurity ... just wondering why [my father] would leave. And I tried to fill that void, that sense of insignificance with anything I could find. Athletics, money, status—you name it, I tried it, and it all left me pretty empty."
"No matter how many women I got involved with, no matter how many drugs I took, no matter how drunk I got, no matter how much I wanted to escape the feeling of insignificance and insecurity, I could not quench that," he continued.
Lecrae spent last weekend in Toronto, ministering to the youth of Ontario at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Greater Toronto Festival of Hope.
His live hip-hop set with a gospel message and relatable lyrics, mixed with key points of his story, gripped a packed Air Canada Centre. You could hear a pin drop as he talked about the moment he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior—how it meant giving up some things in his life, but how in reality he "gained everything."
Lecrae outlines his faith journey on The Cross, describing himself as "this skinny 19-year-old kid with all this internal struggle." He testifies that a simple gospel presentation changed his life.
"I hear this sermon, and he says, 'Do you not know you've been bought with a price? That Jesus paid a price for you?'"
This article originally appeared on BillyGraham.org.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.