The Rev. Julian DeShazier is senior minister of University Church in Chicago, Illinois (a United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ congregation). He is a Chicago native, and a graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago Divinity School. Prior to joining University Church, Julian served as Teen Pastor at Covenant United Church of Christ, and has also worked extensively with the Coca-Cola Leadership Program and Fund for Theological Education.
For nearly a decade, the ministry of Julian "J.Kwest" DeShazier has been an exploration in the relationship between music and faith. As an artist, he has used his unique rhythm to tell stories of deep meaning, inside and out of the church. He is a 2007 Holy Hip Hop Award winner, and has been celebrated as "Living Black History" by Urban Ministries International, while sharing stages at every major gospel music festival. His song, "So Blessed," was featured on the Grammy-nominated compilation Holy Hip Hop: Taking the Gospel to the Streets. J.Kwest has been featured on Fox 32 (Chicago) and in Rolling Out and Blackgurl publications; on Dr. Maya Angelou's XM radio station; at the Children's Defense Fund; and has been a feature performer at the Taste of Chicago Festival. He is also a blogger on producer Pharrell Williams' Kidult site and is a national voice for youth rights.