The 116 Life Ep. 68 – “Building The Ark“ with JD Rivers

Hey fam, welcome to another inspiring episode of Reach Records, The 116 Life. In this episode, SVP of A&R, Ace Harris and co-host Meah Evans had the pleasure of sitting down with JD Rivers, a remarkable figure in the Atlanta Christian club scene. His story of struggle and triumph is one that will speak to your heart. Let jump right in!

The Birth of “The Ark”:

JD’s story is one of transformation and faith. He candidly recounted his days immersed in the secular club scene of Atlanta, where he was known for hosting parties and managing DJs. But life threw him a curveball when he lost his job and found himself living in hotels. It was during this low point that JD felt a call to commit to Christ, leading him to start a Christian club known as “The Ark.” This club has become a sanctuary for those seeking fellowship and fun without compromising their faith.

A Christian Upbringing in Atlanta:

The conversation took us back to JD’s roots in a Christian household, where his single mother worked tirelessly to provide for him and his siblings. Despite the challenges, his mother’s unwavering faith laid the foundation for JD’s spiritual journey. He also shared memories of playing basketball and football during his school years, which taught him discipline and teamwork.

The Struggle of Black Men in Christian Culture:

One of the most poignant parts of this discussion revolved around the unique challenges black men face within Christian culture and the club scene. JD opened up about the societal pressures and expectations that often conflict with Christian values. He reflected on his personal struggles to maintain his faith in an environment that didn’t always support it.

The 116 Life Ep 68 alt pic JD Rivers fist

The 116 Life Wrap Up:

JD Rivers’ journey is a testament to the power of faith and the importance of creating spaces that honor our beliefs. His story is not just about the founding of “The Ark,” but about the resilience and courage it takes to stand firm in one’s identity amidst cultural dynamics. As we wrapped up our conversation, it was clear that JD’s experiences offer valuable lessons on faith, identity, and community.

I hope this glimpse into JD’s life encourages you to tune into “The 116 Life” for more enlightening discussions. Until next time, keep your faith strong and your spirit inspired!

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The 116 Life Ep 68 alt pic Ace and Meah
The 116 Life Ep 68 alt pic JD Rivers


The introduction (00:00:00) Introducing the show and hosts, Meah Evans and Ace Harris, and setting the stage for the interview with JD Rivers.

JD’s journey (00:00:59) JD Rivers talks about committing to Christ, the changes in his life, and his journey over the past two years.

Feeding the tigers (00:02:51) JD shares a pre-Christian experience of feeding tigers and the context behind it.

Shifting mindset (00:04:19) JD discusses his shift in mindset from 2022 to 2024 and how he views things from a top-down perspective.

Starting The Ark (00:05:55) JD explains how his experience in the club scene led to the inspiration to start a Christian club called “The Ark.”

Transitioning from the club scene (00:10:24) JD discusses the transition from the club scene to starting The Ark and the challenges he faced during this transition.

Upbringing and faith journey (00:14:08) JD talks about his upbringing in a Christian household, his experiences growing up in Atlanta, and his journey with faith and conviction.

Challenges faced by black men in Christian culture (00:18:17) The hosts and JD discuss the challenges faced by black men in the Christian culture and the societal pressures they encounter.

Learning at Home (00:19:35) Discussion about the impact of conflicting messages at home and school on a child’s behavior and mindset.

Introduction to Christian Rap (00:20:20) JD Rivers discusses his initial resistance to Christian rap due to cultural influences and comparisons with mainstream rap.

Challenges in a Catholic High School (00:24:15) JD Rivers talks about his experience in a predominantly white Catholic high school and the struggle to maintain his identity.

Struggles in College (00:26:06) JD Rivers shares his challenges with addiction, relationships, and conflicting behaviors during his college years.

Turning Point and Conviction (00:27:21) JD Rivers reflects on the moment when he decided to leave the club scene and the challenges he faced in making that decision.

Resisting Temptation (00:33:40) JD Rivers discusses the temptation to return to the club scene and the inner conflict he experienced in resisting it.

Seeking Support (00:35:12) JD Rivers shares his journey of seeking support and understanding from the Christian community and his pastor’s impact on his spiritual growth.

Navigating Discouragement (00:38:05) The hosts inquire about JD Rivers’ process of overcoming discouragement and navigating criticism from both the church and the public.

Alone Time with Christ (00:38:45) JD discusses the importance of spending time alone with Christ to build a personal relationship and confidence in the word.

The Necessity of a Christian Club (00:40:18) JD explains the necessity of a Christian club in Atlanta and the significance of using the term “Christian club” to fight against the spirit of the nightlife scene.

Building Confidence through the Word (00:42:08) JD shares how his confidence comes from understanding and applying the principles of the Bible, leading to personal growth.

Shoutouts and Acknowledgments (00:43:40) JD expresses gratitude to individuals who have supported and contributed to the success of The Ark and acknowledges their roles in the Christian club scene.

Related Radio Show: 116 Life