"I had nothing to lose. I remember lying in bed, thinking, 'Take me home, Lord.' But he helped me through it. He made me the happiest man alive," said Brian "Head" Welch, former founding guitarist of Korn regarding his remarkable coming to Christ that has already inspired many to do the same as well as bringing out much criticism of the artist. "And anyone who makes fun of me for it, I welcome them to try it out. So many people just don't want to try, and I want to reach out to them."
And since his conversion last month, Welch has already done a fair share of "reaching out," having given a public testimony before 10,000 at Valley Christian Fellowship in Bakersfield, CA that brought 200 souls to Christ.
And although preaching might be a future endeavour for Welch, the new believer has decided to turn to his creative gifts as a vehicle for outreach, particularly his music. After being baptised in the Jordan River and spending time in Israel with other church members, Welch was able to find a new purpose for his musical skills, with the latest of his works being aimed towards popular rap artist 50 Cent.
Describing it as a, "a personal letter to 50 from God," Welch may or may or not release the song, depending on 50’s reaction to it.
"The Big Guy speaks through me a lot when I write, and I have a song for 50 Cent I wrote in the Holy Land. I feel like it's a personal letter to 50 from God, so I'm going to give it to him personally and see what his reaction is," Welch wrote. "If it's a positive reaction and he's willing to talk to me, then I'm not gonna release it, but if the reaction is not positive, I'm going to share it with the world."
Welch said he doesn't fear retribution from 50; rather, he feels protected by the fact that he's merely acting as an emissary between God and the former Curtis Jackson.
"It's not a mean song, but it is like a loving father disciplining his son and telling him how it is — kind of like Tré's dad in the movie 'Boyz N the Hood,' " Welch continued. "There is really no way he can come back at me through music because it's not from me ... it's from the Big Guy. Even 50 respects the Big Guy."
50 Cent's spokesperson at Interscope Records had no comment.
Another piece that Welch has written since becoming Christian is entitled "A Letter to Dimebag" – an instrumental track that he wrote in tribute to the late guitar legend.
"It's a guitar-solo instrumental," he explained. "I wrote it for Dimebag because he always used to tell Munky and I to put guitar solos in Korn's music."
Other musical endeavours Welch has undertaken include a cover of U2’s "With or Without You," which he says will be done, "very different from the original," as well as politically inspired tuned tentatively titled "Bleeder."
"It’s just a reflection of how I feel now," said Welch regarding his new sound. "It’s about life experiences. It’s happy, uplifting, fairy tale music."
Although music is Welch’s primary focus for the time being, the artist has also expressed great interest in utilising other aspects of popular culture for outreach purposes – television being one of them.
"I want to do a reality show on my life change. I'm going to be writing checks for a quarter, a half-a-million dollars at a time on big business deals," he said. "People will tune in to see what kinds of things I'll be buying for them with our money we make from my solo career. I don't like money unless it helps people. ... We'll make TV history."
One project that Welch has begun working on is a line of, "cutting-edge Christian products," for young believers – an idea the artist is developing in partnership with another Hollywood man of faith, actor Stephen Baldwin.
"Brian reached out to me a couple weeks ago because he saw the journey that I've taken in recent years," Baldwin said. "We're just talking now about the very recent and powerful conversion that he went through, and we're sharing about our faith."
The actor said that the two plan to team up soon to create "new relevant youth culture material that empowers them to be proud of their faith."
"There's just not a lot of really cool Christian material out there," Baldwin added.
One thing that Baldwin and Welch have already expressed interest in working on is developing the Christian skate culture. Baldwin has produced a successful line of Christian skate clothing (at ruli.org), skate videos and a skate tour (found at livinit.org), while Welch has said he hopes his more spiritual solo material will allow him the opportunity to build skate parks.
"It really seems like we struck a nerve," Baldwin said of the audience he's found for his "Livin' It" videos, which have sold more than 80,000 copies, by his estimate. He hopes that teaming with Welch will take his message to an even wider audience.
"I'm just excited to have the opportunity to work with such a talented individual," Baldwin said.
For more details, visit www.headtochrist.com.