Leaving a Legacy

I know this dude that live off in the worst part of the city /
Where bangers get bust and them boys live gritty /
Right outside his crib, they be posted selling dope /
But he moved there because he know the gospel bring hope /

He take ‘em in his crib, bring ‘em right up off the streets /
Give ‘em food for they belly and some books they can read /
I’m glad he moved in because he sow into a need /
If it weren’t for dudes like him, I’d be still smoking weed /
Out there on the block, tryna’ come up on some G’s /
Probably be up in my grave, may I rest RIP /

He took us in his crib and let us meet his wife /
I was already saved, but that day changed my life /
He sat and told stories how that drama got real /
How they shot up in his crib, wife almost got killed /

Man, I sat there listening to him with tears in my eyes /
Every word that he spoke lit a fire deep inside /
If you ever take a trip to the Westside of the Chi /
Go and look that boy up, man his name Brian Dye

The Dyes inspired the second verse of the song “Urban Missionary” by Thi’sl, and another unusual practice led the rapper to hear their story.

When the Dyes lived in Humboldt Park, a member of Brian’s initial Bible study, Darnell, had earned jail time. Brian worried that Darnell would return to what got him arrested after his release, so Brian asked Heidi if Darnell could sleep on the couch in their one-bedroom apartment. She agreed, and for six months, Darnell stayed with the Dyes.

The experience was fruitful enough that, after Darnell moved out, they continued to make their couch available. When they went house shopping on the West Side years later, their must-have list included several extra bedrooms rooms. The Dyes felt that showing young men what a relationship with Jesus looks like, what marriage looks like and how to handle finances on a day-to-day basis — in addition to their vocations — was a practical way to make disciples.

One of those extra rooms came in handy for a little-known rapper who met Brian in 2005 at a concert thrown by a friend in his youth-pastor network. Not too many Christian hip-hop artists had hotel accommodations included in their bookings then, and Lecrae Moore did not know where he would stay the night before his flight home. Brian offered to let Lecrae sleep at his house, and the two discovered that evening they shared the same heart for discipleship.

Later that year, Brian invited him back with a couple of pastors to lead a one-day discipleship workshop for about 60 youth workers. Those in attendance helped turn the workshop into a youth conference called Heavyweights in 2006, which then became Legacy the following year.

Lecrae was one of many leaders who initially shaped Legacy. He also unintentionally helped launch it with considerable momentum.

Every time Lecrae heard that a friend of his in Christian hip hop was scheduled to perform in Chicago, he referred them to Brian and Heidi for a place to stay. Others did the same, and the Dyes’ home organically progressed into a bed-and-Bible hotel. Json, Thi’sl, Flame, Sho Baraka, Tedashii and more became guests.

This led to the relationships that made Legacy possible.

Lecrae has called the conference “a place where people’s paradigms are shifted,” and a place where Brian and Heidi were called “crazy” to live in played a role in its conception.

“This is revolutionary,” Lecrae told Rapzilla in 2010. “Every generation has just different leaders and different movements that articulate what God is doing in the scriptures, and this is one of those for our day and age.”

Brian and Heidi will certainly leave a legacy of courage, as well as leadership, but do the Dyes actually think they were ever in danger in West Garfield Park?

“It depends how you define [danger],” Brian said. “I feel the safest place is within God’s will.”

To register for or learn more about Legacy Conference 2015, visit legacymovement.org.

Follow @LegacyDisciple on Twitter.