Randy Phillips, Shawn Craig, and Dan Dean make up this vocal group that has been leading worship around the world since 1991. All three are pastors at different churches in Texas and Missouri and prioritize being at home for church. As a group they have earned two dozen number 1 radio singles, 9 Dove Awards nominations and several wins - including the 2010 Dove Award for Inspirational Album of the Year, Fearless.
Recovery: Dan Dean has been battling prostate cancer. The worship leader and senior pastor of The Heartland Church in Carrollton, TX., was diagnosed two Springs ago, just prior to the the release of Phillips, Craig & Dean's album, Breathe In. Since his initial diagnosis, he has made great progress in his journey on the long road toward recovery and remission. He continued to pastor his church through the battle and has even recorded two new worship albums with PC&D.
Among The Thirsty is Christian Contemporary/Modern Worship/Rock band from the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Formed in 2004 by two high school buddies, Among the Thirsty has developed into a nationally touring band, reaching across the country with their powerful worship, razor sharp rock, and funk. Once coined "The Fab Four of Christian Music", Among the Thirsty has been able to cross age barriers and genre lines to bring a type of music that reaches the entire listening audience.
“Our purpose is to present a unique style of the Gospel to the world through our music. We strive to live a life that is worthy of God's presence, to proclaim the Majesty and Holiness of Christ with our gifts, and to speak words of hope and life to all those who are searching and hurting. We make a strong effort to be straightforward with the gospel and not to be timid when sharing the Good News. All these talents and gifts have been given by the grace of God and from a heart of thankfulness we continue to thirst for more of Him."
At some point, we crossed over from enthusiasm, right past ambivalence, straight to sheer loathing of snow. Where did it all go wrong?
ARTIST OF THE DAY Natalie Grant
Natalie Grant is an award winning singer and songwriter. She won four consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year Awards (2006-2009) at the Dove's and is never far from the top of the charts. Born in Seattle, she currently lives in Nashville with her Canadian music producer husband, Bernie Herms, and their three daughters which includes a set of twins.
Beyond her artistry, Natalie Grant is an advocate for victims of human trafficking. Abolition International, which Grant founded in 2005 under the name The Home Foundation, has raised over a quarter of a million dollars to fight the trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Natalie is now hosting It Takes A Church on The Game Show Network. This reality dating series lets churches set up their most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, cover them in prayer and then watch their awkward blind dates. Sounds lovely.
Mark Stuart and Will McGinniss met at Kentucky Christian University. Stuart and his brother David were putting together a rock band and McGinniss struck up a friendship with the pair. Along with David and Barry Blair they launched a band called A-180. The band recorded two independent albums before signing a record contract with ForeFront Records. It was then that they officially became Audio Adrenaline.
Christian music would never be the same - or youth camp. Hits like Big House and We're A Band propelled the band to the forefront of a thriving Christian rock scene in the mid-90s. They were headliners for every Christian festival on the planet - and toured ceaselessly. Ultimately, that took a toll on their families and relationships. Exhaustion and family strain, plus a vocal disease for lead singer Mark Stuart led to the end of Audio Adrenaline.
Or so it seemed...
Two years ago the band reformed with Kevin Max (formerly of dcTalk) as the new lead singer - and Mark Stuart (founder/original lead singer) writing and producing for the band (still unable to sing). Proceeds from the band's new album went to fund the Hands & Feet Project in Haiti!
Turns out - Audio Adrenaline was greatly missed and the Kings & Queens album became their most successful to date! Since their return, Kevin Max has departed as lead singer, replaced by Josh Engler of Adandon - and then Josh was replaced by Adam Agee of Stellar Kart. It’s been a whirlwind. Now there are ZERO original members in Audio Adrenaline, but the legacy lives on with a new generation taking on the mantle.
Dante’s musical career started out like many other musicians from the bible belt of America, with a humble role in the church choir on Sunday mornings. Initially it was just a way to be more involved with his church and has since developed into a career, a ministry, and a passion. He has now been singing and performing praise and worship music for almost ten years.
Dante has been blessed to regularly lead worship at two prominent churches in Tulsa. He leads a contemporary, acoustic service at Kirk of the Hills Church on Sunday mornings and also leads a full band service on Sunday evenings at the Church of Saint Mary.
As a fun side-project, Dante also has a rock band called Dante & The Hawks. He loves toying with musical expression, but his heart is always in leading worship.
Chris August is a native of Dallas, Texas, and is a veteran of the music industry, even if Christian audiences are just now getting to know him. Before releasing his Christian debut in 2010, he toured as a keyboardist for Ashlee Simpson and other mainstream artists. Now he's touring with TobyMac, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave and a host of other awesome Christian acts!
Mad Skillz: Chris is a self-taught pianist, guitarist, and producer.
Don’t hide inside! Get out and make some weekend plans with our JoyNotes!
ARTIST OF THE DAY Unspoken
Unspoken first came together after lead singer Chad Mattson met guitarist Mike Gomez on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic. Chad had been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction for years, and decided to go on a mission trip to re-build his relationship with God. It was there in the Dominican Republic where Chad’s eyes were opened and he came to know Christ in a powerful way - and both Chad and Mike realized God was calling them to something big!
Chad and Mike began playing music together, and performing live shows based out of Maine. Eventually, bass player Jon Lowry and drummer Ariel Munoz from Puerto Rico, joined the duo and Unspoken was born.
Ministry: In addition to their music, the band is involved with Celebrate Recovery, a faith-based 12-step recovery program for substance abuse.
Multi-platinum-selling rock band Third Day has played to millions of fans in numerous sold-out arenas around the world. They've garnered over 25 No. 1 singles across multiple formats—not to mention armloads of GRAMMY and Dove Awards. Yet Third Day’s most valued accomplishment is their willingness to struggle openly before fans and critics alike to show God's presence in all they do.
With a career pushing into its third decade, Third Day has impacted countless lives. And their fans are indeed loyal. They go by the name GOMERS.
Christy Nockels was born in Ft. Worth, TX and grew up in Oklahoma as the daughter of a pastor and a piano teacher, which infused her heart early with a love for both music and God's word.
In the mid-90s, Christy and her husband Nathan toured the world leading worship, recording albums and winning Dove Awards as the band Watermark. In the mid-2000s the Nockels ended Watermark to help plant a church in Atlanta, GA with Pastor Louie Giglio. And so Passion City Church was born. Yep. The one with Chris Tomlin. That hosts the Passion Conferences. That church.
So at this point Christy is a loving wife, mother to three, worship pastor at a mega-church, music teacher to scores of young worship leaders, a leading member of the award winning Passion worship team (also featuring Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, David Crowder and many more) and has taken up recording incredible solo albums (produced by her husband) as well.
Enough, Already!: In her spare time Christy Nockels writes and publishes poetry. And as a burgeoning interior designer - she just had her home featured in last Fall’s Better Homes & Gardens. Come on!
Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 37: 4-6 - “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn and the justice (or vindication) of your cause like the noonday sun.”
When The Afters broke out onto the scene, it didn't seem like anything could stop them. Their music was fun, their attitudes were joyful and nothing could slow them down!
But life's circumstances quickly changed everything. After losing their longtime friend and manager to a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, two band members decided to part ways with the band, and then there was a life-threatening car wreck, followed by a new member of the band losing a close friend just one week after joining the group.
It was a rough season of change for The Afters. Holding on to their faith and their passion for making music has kept the band focused throughout the mess of it all. Through the pain, faith grew in abundance and that is definitely the message behind their most recent releases.
Ancient History: The four original members of The Afters met while working at a Starbucks together. The band's original name was Screaming Mimes - then they changed it to Blisse. Thankfully a producer talked them into the The Afters.
TV: The Afters' music has been featured on television shows and promos for shows on almost every major network and various cable shows as well - including Grey's Anatomy, Rachel Ray, Dr. Phil, The Biggest Loser, Army Wives, You Deserve It, October Baby, So You Think You Can Dance, Americas Got Talent, The Hills, The Vineyard and more!