Kingdom Bound Ministries continues to attract the top talent and leaders in the Christian music industry to Western New York with this year’s Christian Musician Summit hosted annually at The Chapel at Crosspoint. This year’s event, May 13-14, features headliners Paul Baloche, John Mark McMillan, Kari Jobe, Gungor and Laura Story along with local favorites Benji and Jenna Cowart and Brothers McClurg (formerly Relevant Worship). Matt Kees, co-founder of the CMS events said, “The conferences are really designed for the whole worship team to participate in. We offer over 90 workshops for beginners to advanced musicians.”
The musical lineup includes concerts Friday and Saturday night featuring Paul Baloche, John Mark McMillan, and the Norm Stockton Group on Friday with Gungor, Kari Jobe, and Benji and Jenna Cowart on Saturday night. Both Gungor and McMillan are making first time appearances as featured musicians in the now annual event at The Chapel and are considered emerging artists in Christian circles helping to redefine worship with a new sound in Christian music today. “The story of God has gotten bigger to me,” relates Gungor, who is perhaps best known for co-writing distinguished songs like “Friend of God” and the Dove Award-winning “Say So.” “We had become ‘professional’ Christians. We got to the point where we needed to figure out how to be the church in a more honest way for us.” This bigger story of God shows up on their new album, Beautiful Things in songs born of an honest journey of faith and a struggle with what should result from worship. “If leading worship is just about bringing a group of people into a room so we can get goose bumps and sing songs together, there’s not much value in that. But if leading worship is a means to an end, that we leave this place as a different kind of people, as part of a new humanity that God wants to create – the people that are caring for the widows and orphans, that aren’t bound by the systems of this world but becoming free, becoming fully engaged in our world – then that matters.”
For McMillan who is best known for his hit single, “How He Loves”, has generated a following among younger believers who enjoy McMillan’s organic style sound. The song was successful despite the album's independent release, and has been covered by several well-known artists within the Christian music industry (David Crowder Band, Kim Walker, Todd Agnew, New Breed, Flyleaf, The Glorious Unseen). The song has sentimental meaning for McMillan, who according to a video interview published on Vimeo wrote the song following the death of a dear friend who, during a church staff meeting, prayed "If it would shake the youth of a nation, I will give my life today." McMillan was awakened in the middle of the same night by a phone call; the friend had been killed in a car crash. He wrote How He Loves the next morning as, "a celebration of a God who would want to hang with us...despite who we are". The song took more than a year to surface in the Christian mainstream, but has gone on to become a commonly played worship song on Christian radio and throughout church organizations.”
The two day event features over 90 workshops in the following tracks, Leaders (Worship/Pastoral), Teams, Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums/Percussion, keyboards, winds, songwriters/indie artists, audio, video, lighting and new for this year are seminar for the arts featuring presentations by Ben Pearson on Photography/Film, Mike Overlin on photography, Allison Allen on drama, Jimmy Abegg on painting, Matt Gould on film/video, Holt Vaughn and team are covering Graphic Design.