When the pandemic hit and the lockdown began, Casting Crowns singer Mark Hall was concerned about more than his band. Hall, 53, has been a youth pastor for more than 20 years.
“I had so many things on my mind since people were going through really heavy stuff,” Hall said, calling from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. “Our society has never experienced anything like this and people were looking for answers. As a youth pastor in Atlanta, I listen to people’s stories.
Hall’s ministry is top priority, but Casting Crowns is an important part of his life. Hall and Christian music songwriter Matthew West co-wrote many of the songs on Casting Crowns’ latest album, “The Healer.”
The tandem created a number of fascinating songs such as “Desert Road”, “Scars in Heaven” and “Crazy People”. This latest, clever song, which also featured Seth Mosely as co-writer, was inspired by the life-size Noah’s Ark, which is a tourist attraction in Williamstown, Kentucky.
“Seth said, ‘Can you imagine if you saw your neighbor building this in his yard?’ I said, “I would think he was crazy. We started talking and we knew there was a song there. When you look at the Bible, people did a lot of things that seemed crazy. What this tells me is that we need more crazies in the world.
Hall could have been called insane to have devoted so much energy to Casting Crowns after forming the contemporary Christian band in 1999. Mark Miller, lead singer of Sawyer Brown, signed Casting Crowns to his label, Beach Street Records. Miller and Christian star Stephen Curtis Chapman produced the band’s debut album, released in 2001. It didn’t take long for the band to taste success.
“I can’t tell you how much I owe Stephen for what he’s done for this band,” Hall said. “It was amazing to be such a fan of Stephen and then have him work with me. Amazing.”
The Casting Crowns consistently produce hits. “Voice of Truth,” “Who Am I,” Praise You in This Storm, “If We are the Body,” “Thrive,” and “East to West” are just a few of the band’s cuts on Christian radio.
The aforementioned “Scars in Heaven” broke the world’s first-day streaming record for a Christian song debut on Amazon Music in January.
“We’ve been incredibly blessed,” Hall said. The eldest of Hall’s four children, John Michael Hall, joined Casting Crowns as the band’s bassist last year. “It was wonderful to have him in the group,” Hall said. “He’s sitting right next to me and he and I are having the best time on the road.” The icing on the cake for Hall was welcoming her first grandchild, John Michael Hall’s son, into the world in 2021. “It was awesome,” Hall said. “Our grandson has been on the road with us and it’s been great.”
Casting Crowns, which performs Sunday at Spokane Arena, is looking forward to returning to the Pacific Northwest. “It’s always been one of my favorite parts of the country,” Hall said. “It’s just beautiful there. We’ll be here soon to spread the word by playing our songs.
The second half of “Healer” will be released soon. Each collection is made up of seven songs. “There’s never been a time when people go through music so quickly,” Hall said. “We thought it was better not to release everything all at once. We give hope to people who need it. We do that through our songs and our performances.