- May 30, 2014
- By Leann Callaway / Special to the Baptist Standard
TEXARKANA—Some have called David Crowder “the Pied Piper of Christian music”—drawing in young people to hear the gospel.
After leading worship for events and performing concerts more than a decade, his band caught many fans off guard when they announced their final season together.
Passion City Church in Atlanta, Ga., to have more time to focus on creatively communicating the gospel through songs.As God provided opportunities and allowed Crowder to lessen his hectic touring schedule, he joined the worship team at
While adjusting to his new role as a solo artist, Crowder remains committed to finding innovative ways that connect college students to Christ.
Crowder, who grew up in First Baptist Church in Texarkana, noted his desire to connect people to God and his passion for college ministry began while he attended Baylor University in Waco. However, becoming a worship leader and recording artist surprised him.
“I still remember banging away on the piano when I was really young,” Crowder said. “When my mom signed me up for lessons, I kicked and screamed the whole time. But in retrospect, I’m glad that I took those lessons. I picked up the guitar in college and couldn’t put it down. I’ve always loved music, and it felt like something that I would be doing for a long time, whether it paid the bills or not.”
As a student at Baylor, he was troubled by a campus survey that showed a sizeable percentage of Baylor’s students said they did not attend church while in college.
Armed with a vision and a desire to make an impact on their campus, Crowder and his friend, Chris Seay, founded University Baptist Church in 1996—a contemporary church designed so students would feel safe exploring questions about their faith.
While serving as the church’s music and arts pastor, Crowder desired to write choruses to which students could relate. At the time, he didn't realize his songs, such as “You Alone” and “Our Love is Loud,” would be sung in churches across the nation.
“For me, songwriting happens when I’m not trying to write a song,” he explained. “I spend a lot of time reading and listening to music. If you pay attention to those small moments in life that maybe others aren’t noticing, then you have a place to write from whenever the inspirational moment hits you.”
With the release of his debut solo album, Neon Steeple, Crowder hopes the songs will remind people about God’s power, protection and provision.
“My prayer is that these songs will help people respond to God, proclaim who he is and what he has done in their lives,” Crowder said. “The intent of the record is to let people know that there is rescue, redemption and grace available through a relationship with Jesus.
“This longing that we have for acceptance and belonging … there is actually grace and redemption in the arms of a Savior who loves you unconditionally, regardless of where you have been or what you have done. There is no one who has run too far that can’t come home. That’s really the theme that keeps coming back over and over with these songs. It is during those challenging times when we realize our desperate need for a Savior, because Jesus is the only one who could rescue and sustain us.
“During the 12 years I was touring with the Crowder Band, I can’t even begin to tell you how many people would share the most heart-wrenching stories you can imagine and then come to the climax: ‘I was going to kill myself, but I stopped myself because I heard one of your songs.’ Those stories reflect how God uses songs to draw people to him. It inspires me to keep writing songs that will point people to him.”