Casting Crowns Biography
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Casting Crowns began as a student worship band in Daytona Beach, FL in 1999. After 2 years of serving at First Baptist Daytona Beach, God called Mark Hall (lead vocal), Juan DeVevo (guitar and vocals), Melodee DeVevo (vocals and violin), Hector Cervantes (guitar and vocals), and Darren Hughes (production manager) to Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, GA in October of 2001. After arriving here, the Lord led Chris Huffman (bass guitar), a former student from FBC, Daytona, and Megan Garrett (keyboard, vocals, accordion), to join the band immediately. Then about a year later, Andy Williams (drummer), joined the group.
There, you have Casting Crowns.
At the core of Casting Crowns is Mark Hall, a man who never would have thought leading a band into the wilds of the business of music would enter into his calling. His place, he thought, was to serve young people.
"I've been a youth pastor for about 12 years, and every church I've been in, music's always been a part of it," Hall says. "We'd usually start up a band made up of students so we could lead worship in our Wednesday night programs, and as the student ministry started to grow, the band would go off and play and do things in the area."
"I had the thought that maybe I could write for other bands," he says, "because traveling around playing was not something I thought I wanted to do."
The band recorded two well-received independent records, distributed mainly in the Atlanta area. "There was the temptation to send our CDs to record companies," Hall says, "but we prayed about it and came to the realization we needed to keep doing our music our way."
"Meanwhile, this college student in Daytona named Chase Tramont -- my new best friend in the world! -- has one of our CDs," Hall says. "He plays basketball at Flagler College in Florida, goes off to a camp there, and finds out his coach used to play basketball with a guy named Mark Miller."
It's at this point where one of Casting Crowns' soon-to-be shepherds comes into the picture.
"Chase and Mark get to know each other, and in the midst of a conversation one day, Chase figures out that Mark is the lead singer for Sawyer Brown," Hall says. "After that, Chase said, 'Oh, you've got to hear this band.' Mark must get a million of these things a year, but he likes it and gives us a call."
Miller, the hyper-animated frontman for the veteran country group, doesn't know what he can do for the fledgling band, but wants to be supportive in any way he can. "I could tell by Mark's writing that he wasn't doing anything other than speaking from his heart exactly what he was seeing and what was around him," Miller says. "It didn't surprise me at all when I found out later that he was a youth minister, because basically these were messages to his students."
"The first thing you hear, before you sit there and digest the lyrics, is Mark's voice. I knew a couple of things when I first heard it. I knew they couldn't afford to go in and mess with his voice, so what I was hearing was what he could deliver, so I was pretty blown away by that," Miller continues. "Then the songs were really different to me, they came from a different viewpoint than what you would normally hear within Christian music. The lyrics would immediately make you think, 'This guy's a hard hitter.' He's makes no bones about it; he's not hiding from anything. For me, in Christian music, that's a rarity."
Miller hung onto the two Casting Crowns independent records, waiting for the right opportunity to tell other music industry colleagues about the band. That right moment came on a spring vacation with the families of two longtime friends, new Provident Label Group president Terry Hemmings and an artist with an equally impressive track record to Miller's, Steven Curtis Chapman.
"I've known Terry for quite some time, and he's heard some things I've produced for Christian artists, and we'd been talking about doing something together for three or four years," Miller says. "After my first conversations with Mark, I could tell immediately that this was the kind of person I wanted to be involved with, that Steven would want to be involved with, somebody with true Christian integrity, not just a coating you spray on and then wash off at the end of the day."
"I collected all the information, talked to Terry and Steven about it, and Terry got real excited about it and said, 'Let's just do something with them,'" Miller says. That something has manifested itself as Beach Street Records, the new PLG imprint captained by Miller.
Meanwhile, Miller knew it was time to go out and recruit what would become the imprint's flagship artist. "I called Mark back," Miller says, "and his response was exactly what you'd want to hear. Rather than saying 'When do we leave?' or 'How much money am I going to get?" it was 'Am I still going to be able to be a youth minister?" "My response was something like, 'Sure, Mark, but your congregation may be a whole lot larger than you would have ever imagined.'"
The pieces fell together quickly for Miller's new venture and the band it is introducing to the world. Casting Crowns entered the studio earlier this year with Miller and Chapman serving as co-producers, and the self-titled result is a rich-sounding edgy-pop record that refuses to shy away from the sometimes hard-to-hear truths presented in Hall's lyrics.
That uncompromising spirit is heard on songs like "American Dream," which documents a father's neglect as he chases after the material nature of providing for his family, and "If We Are The Body," challenges Christians in the church to step outside the exclusive circles we are involved in and see the needs of others around us. "I really feel a burden for the church," Hall says. "Right after somebody gets saved, right as they're starting to grow, they essentially have the wool pulled over their eyes that tells them that religion is what they have stepped into. 'Here are the laws that relate to this, here are the rules for this other thing, here's your discipleship notebook, here's you T-shirt and this is what you have to do.' And the feeling is that when you come to church; if you did fail at whatever, don't let anybody know it."
"So they show up acting like everything is fine and are surrounded by people who aren't fine, and that's what religion is. The world simply wants nothing to do with that. They want to see people that are real. It doesn't bother the world that we mess up, what bothers them is that we act like we don't," Hall says.
And even though Casting Crowns is currently in a whirlwind of activity the likes of which they probably couldn't have dreamed, they're not about to take their eyes off the fundamental message they wish to share. "I want to shake people up and help them see that Jesus is not a religion, and God is not a book," Hall says. "You can't pray to a book and you can't draw strength from an idea or standard.
"If there's no relationship with Jesus as a person to you, you're in trouble." It's about life, not religion. It's about relationships, not books. Timely ideas not many of us think about, much less in that way. Casting Crowns is what we need to hear at exactly the time we need to hear it.
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blown away by glorius day | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/19/14
I knew this band was the real deal when I heard glorious day. I always liked their music, but never knew the name of the band. They were not afraid to tell like it is. That Jesus loved, died and rose for us. He loves us so much!
awesome | Reviewer: Emmanuel De-saint | 2/10/14
The first track i heard was 'the prodigal son' and ever since then i made i search 4 their music on google. D track dat i luv d most is 'East from d west' and i'll b usin it 4 a ministration soon. I luv u guy, more grace n favor.
Very encouraging | Reviewer: Ugochukwu Ngokere | 2/9/14
The first song of Casting Crowns I heard was 'Who Am I.' I loved the songs so much that I played it over and over again. I taught my choir the song and we ministered with it in church one sunday. Since after I first heard that song, I've been looking for and listening to every of their songs and they are very encouraging. They often kept me going when I thought all was lost. May God continue to encourage and strengthen them in the good work they're doing.
Thanks for answering the call.
Songs of Casting Crowns are my upward stairs towards the throne of grace. | Reviewer: Martin Mtima | 2/2/14
My first song to listen from Casting Crowns was "praise you in this storm" it came when my life waz in a mess and i felt hopeless but after listening to the song i felt reliefed because it reminded me where i can get my help,thus,to the hills,God himself who is the maker of the heavens and the earth.The second song was "what this worlds needs" later after listening to this song i realised that im not confused of the gospel but i was confused by people themselves and this world doesnt need my tie,hood,denomination or my translation of the bible..i needed Jesus,who is the centre of my life.God bless you Casting Crowns for your uplifting songs.
I found hope | Reviewer: Yakubu jonah | 12/22/13
The first time i listened to ur song,it was EAST TO WEST i luv d song so i went in search of information about the artiste and to know about their other song then i found slow fade, voice of truth and other bt at a point my love for this group grew that i dont listen to anyother gospel aside casting crown..i continued until i downloaded THE WELL and after listening to that song my life found hope in God and it changed my life. I cant wait for the day u'll com to NIGERIA
Motivated by ur songs | Reviewer: Precious. Zimbabwe | 11/3/13
it was n the beginning of the year 2010,and I was 18 my life was such a mess ,by then I was wrking as a maid to fund my education and during that time i was abused sexualy and i kept it to myself nvr told any1 ,i was carryng a lot of anger inside and i felt so alone and rejected ,during those days I nvr knw happiness but I thnk God for Casting Crowns , for in ur songs I found comfrt and I came into a closer relationship with God .
The day I frst heard The song I WILL PRAISE YOU IN THE STORM it was by accident and I was goin thru my Boss's son computer and I clicked it by mistake coz I didn't really knw wat I was doin ... The song strted plying ,didn't knw how to stop it so I jus left it lik that and it playd on and on until the wrds strted sink'ng n ma heart ,I prayd that day and I cryd .... Thts wen I let go off my misery and all the anger I kept inside I let go . And I sayd to God am goin to Praise u nomttr wat I'v been thru ,,,, Coz u are God of all and u are wo u are nomattr where I am....... And every tear tht I cry u hold it in ur hands ..... Ooooooh I felt the Love of God even though at tht tim I felt lik nbdy lovd me .. That moment I felt the warmth of God's presence ...... Ever since then i listern to Casting Crowns where ever I am.....
And that song became the best song of ma lif ... And The voice of truth,I am your and This is ma Offering.....
I love u Casting Crowns and may God cntinue to bless u and may u change lives as u minister unto the Nations wth ur annointed Music
They have change my life | Reviewer: Chigozie | 10/13/13
Casting crown ur gospel music has contributed a lot to my life.it has give me hope. Make my life to be new in jesus. I love the song 'who am i' because is an inspiration song. The song that lift me high in lord. Thank you casting crown.
these songs makes me love God the more | Reviewer: petra oyinkansola | 9/22/13
your songs inspire me daily; a reason why I hardly leave home without my earpiece. if you see me sigh on the street with my earpiece in situ, it should be casting crowns. stay connected to that source for other places are just broken cisterns. i just love "who am I", "somewhere in the middle", "I can only imagine".
Father,spirit,jesus | Reviewer: Glory cavampha | 8/27/13
The very first time l heard father,spirit, jesus l was so blessed & when night came l played the song on my phone and put it om repeat & l fall asleep..when l slept l saw my pastor & he held my hand & he told me that am rescued from darkness & am walking in the marvelous of light which is part of father,spirit,jesus lyric then the next day wat l did was to find out more about casting crowns then l heard until the whole world hears from my brother's phone then he sent til l memorised the lyric there after l was so much interested with the casting crowns songs til l got Glory one of the casting crowns songs while l was listening God revealed to me something about it til l changed my name from Thoko to Glory coz of the revelation God gave me..since then each time am listening to gosple music my first priolity is casting crowns..as am talking right now God has just revealed to me something about Life of praise,& its my first time to listen to it..can't wait for God to reveal deeper thngs about casting crowns...you are such a blessing to the whole world not only to people from U S...May the Good Lord protect & guide you wit many more years to come so that you may win souls for every things about our lives should focus on winning souls for christ jesus..can't wait for a live concert...God Bless You
I've waited all my days. | Reviewer: Caroline | 8/14/13
Am a fourteen year old girl from Ghana. I always loved music. I always requested many things from God. One day i said, God, You know how this world is. And You put me into it. I love music and You gave me a good voice to sing. I really don't want any music which would lead me astray. So, s,how me whose or what song i should listen to. But as usual, i didn't expect an answer. So oneday i was asleep and then i heard a song in my dream. I woke up immediately, and heard this song playing. Then i searched and searched only to find the title as Who am I by casting crowns. I loved this song . Then i downloaded four of casting crowns' song. I was asleep again and i heard another song of casting crowns. The rhythm kept on ringing in my head . But i didn't know the title of the song. So i downloaded every song of Casting crowns till i found that song. It was Here i go again. I loved each song of Casting crowns. I realized that was not the only song the band had. So i went to other websites for the rest of the songs. There was this one song I didn't download(slow fade) till now i still don't have it. But i heard the preview which went oh be careful little eyes what u see. Then i remembered a vedio clip i saw on the t.v. I've always wanted that song but i didn't know it was by casting crowns. There i saw God really answered my prayer. Each song touches me. God bless u Casting Crowns and give u more wisdom to produce more songs. I now see God really sent u.
So blessed | Reviewer: Joy | 5/27/13
Casting Crown the Lord is your strenght. Your songs are inspiring and in a class of its own. To God be the glory. Who am I brings tears to my eyes whenever I listen to it which is often so much love from our God. He's so worth worshipping and I'll worship Him for the rest of my life I lost it spiritually some years back your song has helped restore me. Lifesong is another may God bless you real good your reward is heaven.
Perfectly awesome | Reviewer: Sophy Alex | 4/25/13
Got to know abt u last two months, where am i dat I've nt heard. Please Lord rewind me back to d very first time they startd cos they r perfectly awesome. Love is understatement to wot i hav twds u. "AT UR FEET" ...i melt away to d throne house of God...
please come to Nigeria | Reviewer: ayara Vincent | 4/13/13
Almost every Christian Music Loving soul In Nigeria listens to casting crowns.Each time I listen to this great band,I always get a message.Of a truth,this is a band made from heaven and I pray that someday,they fly to Nigeria
Soul lifting | Reviewer: Confidence | 3/24/13
my name is confidence from nigeria, the first time i heard "who am i" i saw how much i ment 2 God it reminds me of Gods love for me sincerly it is my best song ever & it also helps me 2 meditate, God bless u all 4 answering the call.
Casting crown's lyrics. | Reviewer: Oluwa seun Ogedengbe. | 3/18/13
I will want to say that over the years Casting Crown, Hillsong, Third day, Tood Agnew, Meridith Andrew, Israel and New Breed with also many other gospel rock minister i wish to call them have reached the heart of millions with the powerful word of GOD through music. Casting crown to me was called and ordained by GOD and they are touching the heart of people including me with the message from GOD. Set me free, who am i, the word is alive, praise you in the storm, east to the west, if we are his body, and the voice of truth are the most vital in all their song. Thank you JESUS for a group like casting crown.
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