home
RSS
Casting Crowns – Christian rock's global ambassadors
December 15th, 2010
12:03 PM ET

Casting Crowns – Christian rock's global ambassadors

By Steve Almasy, CNN

During a recent weekend concert tour for United States troops in the Middle East, a man came up to Casting Crowns lead singer Mark Hall.

The soldier wasn't even supposed to be there, but his transfer into Afghanistan had been delayed just long enough for him to attend the Christian band's concert.

I'm going back to fight, the man told him.

"He said, 'I've heard your music before; my wife listens to your music; but the things that you said [in the concert] and the songs that you sang have really given me hope to get through this," Hall said this week from his church near Atlanta.

"That," Hall said, "was really cool."

Hall said the inspiration for taking their music to the troops was born from concert meet-and-greets where they met fans who told them how much they had been lifted up by Casting Crowns while their husbands, wives, or children were in theater. And at the same time, service members were e-mailing the group thanking them for their music and asking for prayers.

"It just felt like we weren't doing enough," Hall said. "It's like we're getting to these families but we have to get to these troops."

Army chaplain Gary Taylor and his comrades helped put together the tour, a three-night swing through Kuwait and Qatar in mid-November. With the chaplains sponsoring the tour, the group was faced with the decision - pay for it themselves or don't go. It was definitely worth it to pay, Hall said.

Hall lauded the chaplains, saying they did most of the work setting everything up and making all the arrangements.

The group also recently conducted a fan appreciation tour, where the band would do one show in the morning then bus to another city for a night-time event.

It sounds like the band would have even less time to interact with its fans, but Hall said it was just the opposite.

"It was some really cool fellowship time," he said. "We got to stay longer [than a normal show] and we met everyone. As a local church guy, that's a big deal ... to meet folks and get connected that way."

The tour included stops in Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.

Not all the group was on the fan appreciation tour. Keyboard player Megan Garrett had a baby last week, a girl named Lucie.

The band is currently working on a new album while its 2009 CD "Until The Whole World Hears" spends its 56th week on the Billboard chart of top selling Christian albums.

The band has already announced some 2011 tour dates.

Also on the horizon is a probable trip to North Korea. You have to say probable these days, considering the heightened military and political tension between North Korea and South Korea. Hall says he really wants to return to the communist nation for a third time.

He's fascinated by the North Korean people. The last time he was there he met with English-speaking college students.

"It really changes your perspective when you're dealing with people and are exposed to more than just [images of Korean leader Kim Jong Il]," he said.

He called the cultural exchanges "eye-opening" even though the Korean government was keeping a close eye on the group, which was led by the U.S. based humanitarian organization, Global Resource Services

"We can go over there and love people and show them we're good people over here in America and we care about others," he said. "Any conversation I can have with one person is gonna make a difference."

The next trip is planned for spring. You can follow Casting Crowns on Facebook and Twitter, and you can also follow CNN's Belief Blog, too.

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Music

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. CW

    @ PEACE2ALL

    You know here is a great band I might add doing something for God by spreading the good news and all you want to do is JUST SP-I-T OUT YOUR LITTLE MOR-ONIC SPEECH. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! INSTEAD OF SPEWING SOME CHRISTIAN HA-T-E SPEECH....WHY DON'T YOU DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE...WITH YOUR LIFE...LIKE THESE GUYS ARE DOING!!!! YES...I'M YELLING....LIKE IT OR NOT. YOU KNOW ONE DAY ALL THESE WONDERFUL LITTLE MO-RO-NIC WORD-S COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH WILL COST YOU!!!! GO AHEAD CONTINUE TO MAKE FUN.....ONE DAY YOU'LL BEG FOR A DROP OF WATER....IN THAT PLACE CALLED H-E-L-L AND YOU'LL GET NONE.

    @ Frogist,

    Yes you may not believe in their so called religion or God but this is what our world is missing the most. Whether you realize now or in your life later we all need God in our lifes and a close walk with him. Glad to see your not spewing some an-ti-christian arguement on this. On yours and all others I really hope one day the Lord will touch all nonbelievers hearts so that all of you will know God. You won't be disappointed if you wil let God in your heart. I even hope that Mr or Ms. Peace2all will be saved because they won't like the consequences.

    December 16, 2010 at 9:14 am |
    • Frogist

      @CW: Whoa dude. Ya gots ta calm down. Did I miss Peace2All's post? What are you yelling about? Seriously, lay off the caffeine.
      As for who needs god, I did try sticking to that single god theory thing. It didn't work out for me. I would say I'm glad it worked out for you, but after all that yelling, I'm wondering if it really has worked out well at all. Your temper seems a bit out of control is all I'm saying. Not a lot of "love thine enemy" in your post. But heck we all have our bad days. Hope your day gets better.

      December 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  2. Frogist

    "We can go over there and love people and show them we're good people over here in America and we care about others," he said. "Any conversation I can have with one person is gonna make a difference."
    I do like that sentiment. And I do believe it's true that you can do good through just one kind, polite conversation not about anything in particular. I worry that their idea of doing good includes proselytizing for their religion. I think that can cause more rifts than heal them.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      Yep...

      Hey CK... How's that 'field trip' planning co-ming to the Noah's Ark museum...? 🙂

      Peace...

      December 16, 2010 at 2:54 am |
    • Frogist

      @Peace2All: Unfortunately I think it has to wait till the coming year. I have to save up my quarters for the triceratops ride! 😉

      December 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  3. TheRationale

    Christian rock – perhaps the biggest oxymoron in history.

    December 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @TheRationale

      *sighs*... don't know much at all about so-called 'Christian Rock'... but, I am guessing I would be in agreement with you, from what very little I have heard.

      Peace...

      December 16, 2010 at 2:52 am |
    • Frogist

      @The Rationale: Actually my hubby can't tell the difference. He will be listening to the radio and I'll be like, "You do know that's Christian Rock, right?" He's not big on listening to the words...

      December 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  4. Reality

    Once a day WARNING for new commentators:

    • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

    • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

    Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

    December 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.