It all started with an idea. And Dairy Queen. And a bathroom.
This is getting weird, let’s backup a bit. Founders Jared Hogue and Roman Johnson both have an extensive background in ministry with 26 years combined experience.
Jared and Roman began their working relationship in 2009 at the young adult ministry of Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma called “Varsity”. While there, they garnered valuable experience by crafting services, communicating on stage, developing fun segments, and spending unusual amounts of time in full-body chicken costumes.
One day Jared had an unconventional idea, so he ran it by the ministry director. He wanted to write and produce a hip hop theme song to capture the essence of the Varsity young adult experience. This had never been done in the landscape of young adult ministry and would be a a big risk. The Varsity director gave it the green light and they were off to the races.
Jared was shocked. He fully expected to get shot down so he hadn’t given much thought to the technical aspects of pulling off a large scale music video. Full of enthusiasm and overwhelmed with eager anticipation, Jared burst into Roman’s office. The details of the exact conversation are a bit hazy but here is a brief synopsis:
Jared: “I want to make a rap video for Varsity!”
They were both on board! At that time, Roman had basic experience in making videos and writing amateur rhymes but for all intents and purposes Jared and Roman were both new to the rap game. A whirlwind of late-night writing sessions, studio time, location scouting, shooting and editing followed. Fast-forward several weeks to a Wednesday around 8pm. The big night had arrived, the premiere of the first ever Varsity Digital Short (SNL may or may not have had an influence on the idea). Jared’s stomach was in knots before the premiere, fearing he had made a gigantic mistake, meanwhile Roman calmly ate a slice of Mazzio’s pizza.
The music video rolled. At it’s conclusion there was a brief silence followed by uproarious applause and copious cheering! It was a success met with online views, song downloads, and parodies in churches across the country. Several months later Jared and Roman would collaborate on the next Varsity Short called “I Love Christmas” which has been parodied and remade by many churches over the years as well.
This is where the Dairy Queen comes in. One night shortly after the release of the second Varsity Short, Jared and Roman were on a return road trip from a conference in Dallas, Texas when they stopped at a DQ for a delicious snack and a bathroom break. Suddenly Jared was struck with another idea, so he creepily waited for Roman to exit the small-town Dairy Queen bathroom.
Jared’s idea was to start a business by producing music videos for companies and brands, effectively pushing the American economy forward and embracing the ideals of capitalism and the free market. The conversation went something like this:
Jared: “What if we made music videos for companies?”
Over ten music videos and countless other fun projects later, Jared and Roman found themselves called once again to do work for the Church. This time it was through a company called Creative Sheep and it was not just work for a single church, but for churches all over the world.
Founded in 2012 and based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Creative Sheep has consistently remained focused on one purpose, to communicate God’s love through excellent content.