PRESS 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

APRIL 29, 2017

 

Contact: Rising Entertainment and Media Management 

 

   P.O. Box 2866 

   Cumming, GA 30028

   ​Email: info@mcstrollo.com 

   Twitter: @mcstrollo 

 

Local Worship Leader Draws Crowd for EP Release

-Michael Strollo

ATLANTA, GA​- Young Christians across the country are yearning for a spiritual connection through praise and worship during church services ultimately pressing to transition from traditional hymns to contemporary Christian music. Commonly referred to as the “Jesus Movement,” this culture shift has sparked a revolution in the millennial generation creating a growing trend of worship leaders and bands both locally and nationally with hopes of making an impact or even getting their big break.

 

Take for example Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. Originally named Hills Christian Life Centre, Hillsong was founded by Pastor Brian Houston in 1983 and has now amassed to a membership of over thirty-five thousand people weekly. Hillsong is typically thought more of as a band simply because of the church’s notable music. To say Hillsong has been successful would be an understatement. Commercially, the band has released over one-hundred and twenty albums and has sold more than sixteen million records across the globe topping Australian charts achieving gold and platinum sales status. In September of 2016, Hillsong released Hillsong: Let Hope Rise an emotionally moving, spiritually uplifting American Christian documentary film on Hillsong United by Pureflix Entertainment.  

 

With the new retro-hipster Christian movement sweeping the nation in churches like Elevation Church in North Carolina and Passion City Church in Atlanta, I received an invitation to a local EP release at Trinity Chapel Church in metro Atlanta. I had the pleasure of attending “REVEAL”, an EP album release party for locally known Christian artist Pete Calhoun of Powder Springs, Georgia which drew in an impressive crowd of over two-hundred attendees.

Founding and Advisor Pastor Jim Bolin of Trinity Chapel described Calhoun as an “incredible worshiper and gifted songwriter.” Calhoun who is a twenty-year-old leader at the church seemed to be the talk of millennials in ministry. Bolin made a point stating that “this generation matters,” and that these kids have a place and there is opportunity for them. One of the things the church has been working hard on is

“finding these young men and women who have gifts and talents and abilities instead of making them wait until they are thirty, forty, or fifty years old before they really get engaged and do anything meaningful. We’ve felt that it’s necessary that some of us older ones’ step back so they can step up, yet they still have us there to teach, train and guide and help their gifts and talents to really flourish” said Bolin.

                                

Not only were the vocals and instrumentals flawless, but Calhoun’s stage presence was impressive, almost as if it were natural. Calhoun’s cousin and Student Ministries Pastor at Trinity Chapel Church told me that there were days Pete would come in without his guitar or a microphone. “He would just walk the stage and pray. Any opportunity he had, Pete would play at the local coffee shops, in the children’s ministry, any opportunity. He just took it and ran with it” said Aaron Calhoun.

 

The dedication, heart, and passion poured into the release of “REVEAL” were evident. “Isn’t this band amazing?” Calhoun asked from the stage. Between songs, Calhoun paused and addressed the crowd saying that “It would be a missed opportunity if we had this many people in a room together and didn’t worship for a second.” Calhoun said in a statement on his website that his goal when leading worship is to “connect people to the ‘Three in One.’”

 

Calhoun and his worship band played an encore at the request of the audience closing out the night with a cover of “Glorious Day” by Passion ft. Kristian Stanfill. The band stayed after the show to take pictures with fans and autograph copies of their album which were available for sale for ten dollars each or two for fifteen. More information about Calhoun can be found at petecalhoun.com.

 

As for Pete and his worship band, I expect we will be seeing remarkable things from this young man in the future.

 

END OF RELEASE

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

JANUARY 7, 2017

 

Contact: Rising Entertainment and Media Management 

 

   P.O. Box 2866 

   Cumming, GA 30028

   ​Email: info@mcstrollo.com 

   Twitter: @mcstrollo 

 
An Open Letter To Mr. Wildmon and The Mainstream Media -  A Millennial's Statement On Carrie Underwood’s Passion Conference Performance

-Michael Strollo  

 

ATLANTA, GA​- M​edia outlets across the country are slamming Pastor Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta for the approval of letting Country Music Artist Carrie Underwood perform at Passion Conference, the Evangelical conference founded by Giglio nearly two decades ago. 
 
“Underwood’s performance did not sit well with Wesley Wildmon, outreach director for the American Family Association, a Christian non-profit that describes itself as pro-family,” says Holly Meyer, Faith reporter for ​The Tennessean. ​USA Today, as well as ​Rolling Stone Magazine have also picked up the story on Underwood’s surprise performance.  
 
In an open letter drafted by Wildmon, he describes being “very frustrated” with Giglio where he is quick to quote 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. 1 Corinthians 6 includes letters from the Apostle Paul and his teachings specifically those based on sexual immorality. But why leave out verse 11 Mr. Wildmon? It is all about fitting the agenda. Verse 11, actually, verses 9-11 of Chapter 6 of 1 Corinthians says:  

 

“​Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 

Many people like to leave the last verse out. “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” See, an outside force did the washing, not the Corinthians. That force; grace.  
 
So let us now look at the meaning behind Carrie Underwood’s song “Something In The Water.” The song was written by Underwood along with ​Chris DeStefano and Brett James. James told Country Weekly that the trio chose to make the song themed after a person whose life changes after baptism, the religious rite of sprinkling water onto a person’s forehead or of immersion in water, symbolizing purification or regeneration and admission to the Christian Church. According to Bible Works, the word “Baptism” is used twenty-two times in the Bible and referenced one-hundred times. 


You may also remember when “Something In The Water” won Top Christian Song of 2015 during the Billboard Music Awards. But who is one to question another’s relationship with Christ? Right Mr. Wildmon? Amazingly ​Rolling Stone
​also featured Mr. Wildmon’s “Open Letter” and covered their own version of the story behind Underwood’s surprise performance yet failing to recall the time the edgy magazine, that once published their front cover with a photo of Kanye West with a crown of thorns atop his head playing Jesus, praised Underwood’s song stating that "Underwood sings in the soaring song showcasing her heavenly high vocal range" and called the song a "spiritual heartstring-tugger", or the time ​Billboardrated the song with four out of five stars, stating: "Carrie Underwood offers a message of faith in times of trouble".  
 
Here is the problem that I have with all of this Mr. Wildmon and the mainstream media. You are disgustingly focused on the relationship between Pastor Giglio, Carrie Underwood, and Passion Conference that I see you lack any substance or thoughts on the conference of itself.  
 
Nearly sixty-thousand eighteen to twenty-five year olds packed the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta to not only worship Jesus, but to kick off the start to 2017, and to prove to you and to the world that there is revival in the hearts of young people. 
 
Now for the record, I do not agree with Mrs. Underwood’s personal opinions on the issue of marriage, however I do consider myself a fan of her music, her character, and I respect her nonetheless. As for the millennial outreach problem in America, I for one do not see Carrie Underwood as someone who would influence ​my beliefs. She is a talented artist, musician, and activist in the community and across the country, however we will agree to disagree on one issue. 
 
To the millennials and to my own generation that happens to be reading this, or to other Christian believers: If you let the influence of a celebrity or Hollywood star deter you from believing in truth, you are not grounded in your beliefs, in your faith, or in the word of God. It is that simple. Yes, we are called to love everyone, but that does not give us excuse to partake in sin. 
 
Evangelist and speaker Todd White said it best, “Do not let sin around you produce sin within you.” Some of us struggle with alcohol, drugs, pornography, stealing, and even sexuality, however Paul is not sitting there with the people of the City of Corinth picking and choosing which sin is worse than the others. He writes his letters to correct the views and conflicts within the church at Corinth knowing that God sees sin horizontally, not vertically.  
 
With all of this said, I ask that you as a influencer step back, ask the attendees and the millennials about their opinions, but to also cover and report on the good of this conference and the incredible hope and revival it brings to tens of thousands of young people across the globe.  

 

END OF RELEASE  

### 

© 2017 by Rising Entertainment and Media Management LLC. mcstrollo™