Recording artists Shane Barnard and Shane Everett have an intense desire to spread a powerful message: that knowing Jesus Christ is the best thing anyone can experience.
“We want to proclaim the greatness of God through music and want people at our concerts to be blessed,” Everett said. “At our concerts, we like to talk about different Scriptures and tell about what the Lord is doing in our lives. We always stress the importance of a daily walk with the Lord.”
But the path to becoming worship leaders has never been smooth for them.
Raised in a Catholic home, Barnard was desperately searching for something more as a teenager. This resulted in him “sneaking out” to a friend’s youth group, where he found the answers he was looking for and also led him to make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ at the age of 15. Barnard began to express his faith with a guitar in his hands, and before long, he was asked to lead worship at Bible studies and small groups. While being the only Christian in his family, he set a strong example, and years later, his family also accepted Christ as their Savior.
On the other hand, Everett did not make a profession of faith until he was older. Growing up, he attended church sporadically, usually when there was a special event being held. It wasn’t until his junior year at Texas A&M University in 1997 that he was saved. Of all places, at a bar in Killeen, Texas.
After meeting each other at Texas A&M, Barnard heard that Everett had a good guitar and asked to borrow it for an event. A few months later, they began singing together at Disciple Now weekends and other events for local churches.
Later that year, they became the worship leaders for Breakaway Ministries at Texas A&M, which is the largest campus Bible study in the state with more than 4,000 college students regularly attending.
“Everything just seemed to fall into place,” Everett said. “We started getting phone calls when people heard we were going to be in their area, and before we knew it, our schedule filled up.”
However, two years after establishing their music ministry, a bizarre accident drastically altered their lives.
As they were walking out of a restaurant in McAllen, Texas, a massive 60-year-old ash tree split and parts fell in the street, leaving both of them tangled in electrical wires and tree branches. A large branch hit Barnard, tearing his shirt and severely bruising his face and back. Another branch clipped Everett in the leg.
Amazingly, after a few hours at a local hospital, they kept a commitment to lead worship that night.
But the effects of Barnard’s injuries lasted an entire year. His limbs continually went numb, he endured a month-long headache, and his heart mysteriously played “stop-and-start games” with him.
During this time, they relied on their faith to sustain them.
“Shane Barnard really thought he was going to die,” Everett said. “In Hosea 2, it talks about ‘the valley of trouble being a doorway of hope.’ We were really in a valley, and all we could do was depend on God.”
During this recovery period, they spent hours praying and reading the Bible each day. As they grew stronger in their daily walk with Christ, they also strengthened their desire to bring others into the throne room of the Lord.
Today, this musical duo describes a “burning desire to see students fall passionately in love with Jesus Christ.”
“We are committed to using the platform that music has provided to exhort the body of Christ in the word of God and proclaim that Jesus Christ is the greatest pleasure worth pursuing,” Everett said.
By sharing their personal experiences and struggles, they have impacted many lives while leading worship around the country.
“Shane and Shane understand today’s generation of students very well,” said Stan Britton, college pastor at First Baptist Church of Dallas. “Most people in the student ministry realm know of Shane and Shane. They have built up notoriety over a short period of time. It’s not just because of their talent or age, but every time they take the stage, they are going to lead with passion. Their zeal and fervor for the Lord is second to none.”
Leann Callaway is a Dallas-based freelance writer.