Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Contemporary worship fills the Coliseum

Rachel Stephens

Whatzup Features Writer

Published February 28, 2019

Heads Up! This article is 3 years old.

As winter comes to a close, three Christian music groups are making their way to Fort Wayne to lift up the community and spread a message of joy and hope.

Presented by Compassion International, Casting Crowns, Zach Williams, and Austin French will make their way to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on March 7 as part of the Only Jesus tour.

Casting Crowns came together as a worship band in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1999. Vocalist Mark Hall worked as a pastor at First Baptist Daytona Beach where the band led worship for their Wednesday night youth program.

Two years later, the group moved to McDonough, Ga., where they had another opportunity to lead worship for Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church. Here they expanded their reach by adding a couple new members and recording their first two records which gained popularity in the Atlanta area.

Reluctant to transition

At first, the band members were not interested in transitioning into the music industry and were content pastoring and leading worship. However through coincidence or perhaps even divine intervention, their album made its way to Sawyer Brown lead singer Mark Miller.

Inspired by their musicality and genuine lyrics, Miller collaborated with two of his music-producing friends, Terry Hemmings and Steven Curtis Chapman, to create a new label called Beach Street Records and signed Casting Crowns.

Today, in addition to Hall, Casting Crowns has six other band members: violinist Melodee DeVevo, pianist Megan Garrett, guitarist Juan DeVevo, drummer Brian Scoggin, bass guitarist Chris Huffman, and lead guitarist Josh Mix. And keeping with their roots, they are all still engaged in student ministry and Hall remains pastor of Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Together, these bandmates are a multi-platinum selling and Grammy- and Dove Award-winning ensemble. With seven studio albums and five live albums, Casting Crowns has sold more than 11 million records and held the position of Billboard’s top-selling act in Christian music since 2007.

Their music has become increasingly prominent and easily recognizable in any Sunday morning worship service or on your local Christian radio station. Some of their most popular tunes are “Who Am I,” “Courageous,” and “Only Jesus.”

Their spring 2019 tour comes with the release of their brand new studio album, Only Jesus.

Zach and Austin

The group will cover the East Coast, Midwest, and Southern regions with guests Zach Williams and Austin French.

As Billboard’s 2017 Top Christian Male Vocalist and New Artist of the Year, Zach Williams has made quite an impression on the industry early on in his career. His most popular song, “Chain Breaker,” earned Williams his first nominations for a Grammy and Billboard Music Award.

Also joining the tour is Austin French, who is also a pastor from Georgia. His developing music career led him to Nashville where he released his debut album, Wide Open, which he will feature on the Only Jesus tour.

Attendees can purchase standard tickets from $26-$63 or choose from three different VIP experiences ranging from front row seats with access to a pre-show jam to a Q&A session and photo-op with Casting Crowns (price range $119-$189). The show starts at 7 p.m., but attendees will want to arrive early as traffic is sure to be heavy around the Coliseum that evening. And don’t forget your $6 cash-only parking or $10 for a preferred spot.

Partnering with Compassion

Casting Crowns’ music is about much more than just themselves. They produce songs to share their faith and inspire hope in others. Casting Crowns displays these principals by partnering with Compassion International to produce this tour.

Compassion International is a Christian child development organization that works to release children from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. This organization allows individuals to sponsor specific children affected by poverty.

The Only Jesus tour is sure to fill the Memorial Coliseum expo hall with a powerful sort of energy.

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