A former Winnipegger who was caught up in drugs and "street life" is now rapping about Jesus and hoping to bring the Kindom of God to people through music.
D'Arcy Pachkowski, known by his stage name of Servant, grew up in a Christian home, attending church with his family.
"You know, I went through all the kinds of things that a young Catholic boy would do. I went through altar serving and communion and confession and all these different types of things, but ... getting into my teenage years I started to drift away a little bit."
He says as a high schooler he wanted to simply fit in and be accepted, saying, "I was very much a follower." However, that path, like it does for so many, ended up leading him into addiction and despair. He ended up moving to Regina, Sask., but the trouble followed him there.
"I ended up getting pulled into a lot of different things, you know, so I was stuck in drug addiction and I was into kind of like that street life. We listened to rap music that was not very good and tried to really embody that persona of what that kind of music was."
He says that's how his teenage and early adult years were a mix of drugs, violence, and led him far down the wrong path.
That all changed one night as he was about to fall asleep. "I kinda hit that solid rock bottom and God spoke to me and He said, 'Is this it?' I was like, 'whoa, no, no, it's not!' So I packed up all my stuff without anybody knowing and I just drove to a detox centre in Regina.
It was there that he decided not only to dedicate his life to Jesus but also to rapping about Him. "So in that time, I was like, you know what? I used to write music that, like I said before, I don't condone that message anymore, but why can't I now write music to glorify God? So you know, so that's kind of where 'servant' came in. I was like, OK, I'm gonna do one song. And I did."
However, that has now snowballed into a larger project called In Him I Rise. The album cover is fittingly a picture of Pachkowski rising out of the water during his baptism.
He says that he had started listening to sermons online from a Calvary Chapel campus in Hawaii and decided to look up if there was a Calvary Chapel in Regina. He found a local Baptist church and got plugged in there.
"I knew the enemy would try and send people my way to try to pull me back, but at every turn and every time that they did, I denied those things and just continued to further deepen my relationship with Jesus and on September 24, 2017, I was baptized by the pastor of that church."
He says the life he leads today has been "an incredible blessing ... I have a wife, two kids, my own house, you know what I mean? All these things. And that's where Servant came in. I just feel one of the gifts God gave me was writing music and serving others through that."
Check out the full interview with Servant below to find out how you can get his music.