American Idol Alumnus DeWayne Crocker Jr.: Growing at ORU as He Grows as a Musician
DeWayne Crocker Jr.
Hometown: Pensacola, Fl
You’re center stage … the spotlights come on, and you’re about to perform on national television in front of six million people. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it was a reality for ORU junior DeWayne Crocker Jr., who competed on Season 18 of American Idol.
American Idol expanded DeWayne’s artistry to a worldwide audience. For him, music is important, but his faith is too. While singing as a teenager, DeWayne was filled with the Holy Spirit. This experience has served as a constant reminder to DeWayne of the significance of the Holy Spirit in his journey as an artist.
“The Holy Spirit has impacted my life so much. Being filled with the Holy Spirit at thirteen years old was a moment I will never forget. That experience birthed something new in me, and I still carry the residue of it today. In a way, I feel like my ‘yes’ to the Holy Spirit activated God's Jeremiah 29:11 plan for my life.” Motivated to continue that plan, DeWayne ventured from Pensacola, Florida, to study Biblical Literature at ORU, hone his songwriting skills, and grow spiritually.
"In one semester, I can tell how much the University has impacted me; I’ve grown a lot as an artist … especially when I’m away traveling and performing—I always miss it. I ask myself all the time, ‘Why didn’t I decide to come to ORU sooner?’”
Discovering Growth After American Idol
As an American Idol alumnus, DeWayne has a deep passion for music, but his deep passion for God is what brought him to ORU. At ORU, students are empowered to grow as whole leaders, not only in their field of study but in their faith. DeWayne’s faith has been growing at ORU since day one, impacted by ORU’s commitment to spiritual growth.
“When I walked on this campus,” DeWayne said, “it was different—I sensed the Holy Spirit in the teachers and the people. They are on fire for Jesus … we are living on the brink of a revival right here at ORU. In one semester, I can tell how much the University has impacted me; I’ve grown a lot as an artist … especially when I’m away traveling and performing—I always miss it. I ask myself all the time, ‘Why didn’t I decide to come to ORU sooner?’”
Spiritual growth is part of ORU’s Spirit-empowered education, but DeWayne is also growing in one of the most diverse college communities in America. Representing 50 states and 126 nations, ORU’s student body is a place where different cultures are embraced. Merging faith, diversity, and talent in one place is what sets ORU apart from universities around the world.
“There’s no school like ORU,” DeWayne said. “I’ve been to other schools, and there’s no prayer in the classroom. We have the Prayer Tower, which I love to visit when I need a moment to pray. Those moments have enhanced my ability to sense the Holy Spirit beyond what I can describe … I see and feel Jesus now more than ever. The people are amazing and really nice. I can go down the list of incredible people that have graduated from ORU, and they’ve changed the world. So, I know there’s something special about this University.”
Letting His Light Shine and Upcoming Music
With more than 60 million views across YouTube and Facebook, doors have opened for DeWayne. He appeared on BET's Sunday's Best and sang at the wedding of tennis legend Serena Williams. He has also written songs with Billboard Award-winning group Maverick City Music.
With many achievements under his belt, DeWayne remains motivated to grow as an artist and a Christian. He describes his growth as “a metamorphosis … a never-ending process of change. It’s progressive and getting better day by day.”
DeWayne, who currently serves on the worship team at Michael Todd’s Transformation Church, recently recorded his newest song, “Trust in God.” This original song, first performed at ORU’s Chapel, is being produced by a Grammy award-winning producer Vashawn Mitchell who has produced many projects, including Tasha Cobb's "Smile" album with the single "Break Every Chain." It will be released soon on his website and other platforms.