Between the Liner Notes
Shane Everett: Finding God in a Bar
By Audra Smith and Will Dawson
The 700 Club
Shane Everett is part of the award-winning praise and worship duo, Shane and Shane.
Along with his singing partner, Shane Bernard, he plays at churches, youth camps, and spiritual retreats all over the world. But Shane will be the first to tell you that he found God in a bar.
A Texas native Shane Everett grew up in the Bible belt. His hometown was saturated with religion.
“We are from the South, so of course there are churches on every corner. It is kind of rooted in our DNA. I think to say that I was an atheist or that I was not a Christian would be weird.”
In 1997, Shane was a senior studying business at Texas A&M University. He focused his attention on building a lucrative career in real estate and was well on his way to obtaining his American dream.
“I was definitely seeking joy, but it was definitely money. Money brings joy, a big house brings joy, fancy cars bring joy," says Shane. "I had the ‘job’ lined up and ready to go. I knew the right people, and things were as good as they could get…"
In addition to going to class and working at a real estate firm, Shane began playing with a local band in bars and clubs for extra money. “It’s parties, it’s drinking, it’s everything you could be a part of. I was in it, and I was in it head first.”
But Shane’s after hour gigs took their toll.
“I was extremely tired and I was done with it —I was really done with it. You can only be in that life so long without eventually breaking down.”
One night after a performance, Shane was waiting to be paid in a darkened bar. He couldn’t remember much about the crowd or the show, but he knew it was a night that changed his life forever.
“The lights were off. I was just sitting there waiting to get paid, just kicking my feet on the end of this stage, ” Shane says. "Well, they turned on the big florescent lights in this bar. It was just nasty — just trash, beer cans, and bottles."
“At the time I was like, this is my life. It’s just destroyed. My heart is a wreck, my life is a wreck. I hate all of it. At this moment, I just heard the Spirit of the Lord say to me, 'Son, its time to come home.'"
In that very spot, Shane prayed and asked Jesus to come into his heart.
“This bar was a picture of destruction for me. I think it was just a picture, a word, and the Spirit kind of welling up within and creating new life and rebirth. It’s a miracle, and it happened there."
After leaving the bar, Shane made another life changing decision. He decided to quit performing with his band.
"I am calling the guitar player in the band and I am like, 'Man, I’m out! I can’t do this anymore.' I want to love Jesus, that’s all I really knew to say. I just want to love Jesus.'”
Shane began attending church regularly. It was there he met a new friend, another Shane—Shane Bernard. He discovered his days as a musician were not over after all.
“Shane said, ‘Will you sing on this new album with me,’ which was in '98. After that it was just kind of a whirlwind. People started calling, and here we are again doing music full time.”
“We are just playing music and we are singing about the Lord, and man, we just had a heart for scripture and a heart for people —singing songs of praise with the body and with each other,” Shane says.
A college-circuit favorite, Shane & Shane has sold hundreds of thousands of records, received three Dove award nominations, and toured with top artists in the Christian music industry. This fall the duo released their 6th album, called “Pages.”
Both say their teamwork and accountability keeps their focus in the right place.
“To be a part of each other’s lives, .to be at the end of the day sharpened and to be desperate and crying out for a God who can satisfy us — I think that is why we are together,” says Shane Bernard.
Today Shane is still passionate about music. He wants to live a life that reflects the grace extended to him at the most unusual time and in the most unlikely place.
“This is the testimony of my life —of any believers life. I don’t think I am special in any other way than I am a son of God now. The Lord had saved me from a crazy life that was spent on self and on the world. Now I am an ambassador for Jesus, for the King of Kings."
“If He can save me, He can save anyone.”
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