Jason Roy, the front man for Building 429, and his wife Cortni, have been blessed with wisdom beyond their years. The wisdom God has given them has enabled them to see life through new lenses and to act on what they see. They recognize and understand the importance of living in community with other believers, passing on their blessings and wisdom to those who follow in their footsteps.
To that end, Jason and Cortni have immersed themselves in the life of Grace Community Church (Clarksville, Tenn.)—of which they have been a part for two years—and in particular with the next generation there. “We’re worshippers in the church. We’re always there as much as we can be,” says Jason. “We’re part of the group that started the college ministry there about a year ago. Cortni is still part of the group heading it up. When I’m in town, I help out however I can.”
Jason and Cortni had very different experiences in their own college careers, yet both recognize how difficult college and being away from home can be for young people. “We just want to make sure they know they are loved, and there’s a place where they can come and hang out when they’re having a hard time,” says Jason. “We want to make sure these kids have somebody a little bit older who’s been there, done that, not too long ago—and hopefully relate to them and understand their needs, and to lead them to Christ.”
“I lead a small group of girls in [our] home,” says Cortni. “We’re doing a Bible study together. Some of the girls come over every week or so just to check in and talk about what’s going on in their lives.”
Jason has been able to use his connections in nearby Nashville to bring bands to Clarksville. “[We] rent out a local bar or club and bring in bands and have them play for free [for] the college students. It’s just been a great time. It doesn’t make any sense for us not to use the connections I have and bring those bands in and have them minister to our college students.”
In addition, Cortni says, “Once a month, we have a large gathering we call ‘Encounter’ where we have worship and speakers.” Grace’s senior pastors support the college ministry by speaking at ‘Encounter.’
“Jason and Cortni’s heart for students was obvious from the beginning,” says Grace co-pastor Ron Edmondson. “They willingly opened their lives to the students of our church. We are in a college town (Austin Peay State University), but because of our commitments starting the church, we had neglected the college ministry. Their involvement made it possible for us to launch our college ministry far sooner than we might have been able to otherwise.”
While the Roys pour into the lives of students, they also recognize the need for accountability and discipleship from others in their own lives. “Ron Edmondson is a huge influence on me. We go have coffee every once in a while, just to catch up,” says Jason. In addition, he has others who play important roles in shaping who he is and in holding him accountable when he’s on the road. Cortni leans on her family (who is part of Grace Community), as well as other moms (she and Jason are parents of a 4-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter) in the church for support and accountability.
Though the church is protective of Jason as a musician, he does ask to help lead worship on occasion. “These guys are unbelievable musicians and worship leaders,” says Jason. “When I play, it’s more because I want to than because they need somebody to play.”
— Johnston Moore is a screenwriter living in Long Beach, California. He and wife Terri are the parents of several adopted children.