There will be no pulpit on the Coca-Cola Stage at tonight’s Riverbend Festival, but expect a little preaching.
Casting Crowns, the Atlanta-based contemporary Christian band headlining Faith and Family Night, is serious about its calling.
“Any concert,” said lead singer and songwriter Mark Hall, “we’ll share the gospel out there. It’s really plain and simple, whether you’re a kid or an adult. God is pursuing you, he wants you, he wants to rescue you, he wants to walk your days with you, he wants to be in communication with you.”
The band’s ministry, he said, is summed up by the name of its most recent album, its fourth studio release, “Until the Whole World Hears.”
The title is taken from the book of Matthew.
“My mentor in youth ministry, Roger Glidewell, reminded me of that verse,” Hall said. “That’s why you hear it.”
Casting Crowns has a Grammy Award, an American Music Award, 23 Dove Awards and eight chart-topping radio singles under its belt.
Hall said tonight’s concert will include “songs that have connected most with families” through the years as well as some off the band’s upcoming October release.
Those are likely to include hits such as “Voice of Truth,” “Praise You in This Storm,” “East to West,” “Who Am I?” “If We Are the Body” and “Glorious Day.”
At least one of the new songs, Hall said, will be “Courageous,” the title track to the movie “Courageous,” which will be released by the producers of “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof” in September.
Almost all of their songs, he said, have their genesis in Bible studies or devotions.
“They turn into songs eventually,” said Hall, an 18-year veteran of youth ministry and the weekly student services leader of Eagles Landing Baptist Church near Atlanta.
Worship is so important to the band, he said, that the members generally are home Sunday through Wednesday and one week recently even traveled through the night from Brazil to be at church on Sunday.
“We wouldn’t have Casting Crowns if we were not in a church,” Hall said.
The congregation of his church can even be heard on several songs on “Until the Whole World Hears.”
Festivals like Riverbend, Hall said, are nothing new for the seven-member band. He said they play them throughout the summer and in settings such as the band’s own youth camping mission trips.
Contact Clint Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6497.
Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...