After Big Daddy Weave announced that band member Jason Weaver, better known as Jay, had died from complications due to COVID-19, several of the late artist's peers in the Christian entertainment industry expressed their heartbreak over the news.
Jay Weaver’s older brother, Big Daddy Weave frontman Mike Weaver, took to Facebook on Sunday to announce that his younger brother and bandmate “went to be with Jesus” on Jan. 2 at the age of 42. The late artist was a founding member of the band and played bass guitar and sang with the Christian group.
“Even though COVID may have taken his last breath, Jesus was right there to catch him,” the elder Weaver shared in the video announcement. Though distraught over his brother's death, Weaver said he is “celebrating” the fact that his brother is in Heaven after many years of battling other health conditions as well.
Upon hearing the news, Christian music legend Steven Curtis Chapman took to Twitter to share his reaction.
“So heartbroken over the loss of Jay Weaver…A man who’s smile, kindness, generosity and life reflected the light of Jesus in a beautiful way! So thankful that I got to know him this side of Heaven, and because the Gospel is true, thankful to know we will absolutely see him again,” Chapman wrote alongside a photo of him and the entire Big Daddy Weave band.
The musician is survived by his wife, Emily, and their three children. Many people also sent their condolences to Weaver’s family.
Christian radio giant K-LOVE honored Weaver, writing: “Our hearts are saddened to hear that Jay Weaver, former bass player in Big Daddy Weave, has passed away. Please join us as we pray for Jay’s wife, three children, and the Weaver family.”
Christian contemporary singer Zach Williams penned a lengthy tribute expressing his heartbreak over the news.
“Anyone who knows my story knows how instrumental their music has been in my life. I’ve been fortunate over the past few years to tour with Jay and the rest of the guys, and I can honestly say he was one in a million,” Williams wrote on Twitter.
Williams has often testified that the band’s hit song “Redeemed” was instrumental in leading him to Christ.
“He had a heart for God and a heart for people. He was the real deal on and off the stage. I’m so grateful for the times we had touring these past few years. Please keep Jay’s family and the Big Daddy Weave team in your prayers," Williams said.
The “Chain Breaker” performer ended his post by saying, “I know you're walking those streets of gold today in some new shoes. Miss ya already, Jay Dog.”
Chonda Pierce, the comedian best known as the “queen of clean,” shared a similar sentiment.
“Such a great guy,” she wrote on Facebook. “Prayers for his brother, Mike. I have a feeling Jay danced his way right through the pearly gates today! Jay, save a dance for us all.”
On Facebook, worship leader Chris Tomlin remembered Weaver fondly and reminded his followers of the hope found in Christ.
“Heartbroken to hear about Jay Weaver passing away….I am holding his family and all the Big Daddy Weave crew in my heart,” Tomlin wrote. “Eternal life is our hope through Jesus, and this world is only temporary. We are continually reminded of this to make every day count. I had the great pleasure of getting to know Jay on tour… he was a great light and a true heart for Jesus. I loved being around him.”
Christian entertainers were not the only ones to pay homage to Weaver.
The Christian humanitarian organization World Vision tweeted: “Our hearts are heavy over the passing of Jay Weaver of @bdwmusic. Jay was not only a beloved Christian musician and philanthropist, but a friend, advocate, and donor of World Vision for more than 17 years. Please join us in celebrating his life and praying for his family.”
The senior writer for CNN's entertainment team, Lisa Respers France, reflected on Heaven following Weaver's passing.
"'We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.’ Prayers for @bdwmusic his family & all who mourn the loss of Jay Weaver,” she shared on Twitter.
He remained in Big Daddy Weave for five years following the amputations. However, shortly before his death, the bassist announced he’d made “the difficult decision to come off the road with Big Daddy Weave for a time” to focus on his health. Weaver was in the hospital for at least five days “fighting a tough battle against COVID” before he died of complications.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that people consider making a donation to the Redeemed Foundation, which would go toward the needs of the family.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic