what really happened to casting crownswhat really happened to casting crowns

Casting Crowns is recognized as the leading act in Contemporary Christian Music, with a collection of multiple Grammy, Dove, and Billboard Music awards over the course of their career.

Casting Crowns started off as a contemporary Christian and Christian rock band in 1999 by youth pastor and the band’s lead vocalist Mark Hall, who had been a part of the  First Baptist Church in Downtown Daytona Beach, Florida.

In recent years, the group experienced loss and success simultaneously while their careers skyrocketed at unprecedented heights. Let us look into some of their achievements over the past decades.

Early Beginnings

Christian rock group Casting Crowns initiated their journey as a student worship band in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1999.

Mark Hall managed the group initially including guitarists Juan DeVevo and Hector Cervantes, violinist Melodee DeVevo, and drummer Rob Cervantes (a.k.a. Chavez). However, with their shift to Georgia, in 2001, the band gained new faces starting with Chris Huffman on bass, Megan Garrett on keyboards and accordion, and much-beloved drummer Andy Williams.

During their early days, Casting Crowns released two independent albums on CD, which were held in high regard in the Atlanta area.

These independent albums are part of the outreach projects for youth in the area.

As their fame slowly advanced to a national level, the group made its mark in the GMA regional songwriters competition at Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida, in both the “Best Song” and the “Best Artist” categories in 2004. 

The group did not associate with a record label for a long time after their debut, however, one of the group’s albums found its way into the hands of Mark Miller, lead singer for country group Sawyer Brown.

The music struck a chord for Miller through their mixed genre pop and rock style and Hall’s commanding vocal delivery. 

Miller instantly signed Casting Crowns to his nouveau Beach Street Records, a division of Reunion Records with distribution by the Provident Label Group.

They had become the face of Beach Street Records as they were the first artists to be signed with the record. 

Mark Miller introduced them to the co-producer Steven Curtis Chapman who himself had made a name for himself as an artist on the CCM musical scene.

The first synonymous album released by Crowns in 2003 quickly established them as one of the fastest-selling debut artists in Christian music history.

The third single on this album by the title, “Voice of Truth”, spent a record-breaking fourteen consecutive weeks at No. 1 beginning in 2003. Moreover, it had also been featured as the intro song for the movie Facing the giants, which had been the first of many singles that would gain this honor.

It’s no surprise that the album was listed as certified platinum in 2005, and the group would, later on, receive their first gold certification for a single for the song ‘Who Am I’m from their debut record in 2011, 

Riding the high tide, the group managed to produce another album by the name of Lifesong followed in 2005, debuting at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 chart. Three distinct singles from “Lifesong” spent nine weeks in the top spot, with the song “Praise You in This Storm” remaining at No. 1 for seven weeks.

In just the first 6 years of their career, the group had also secured their first Grammy Award for their work on the album ‘Lifesong’ in 2006.

Following the success of their 4th album, Casting Crowns released their first recording of live performances by the name of Lifesong Live, which included the studio versions of their album.

This was tailed by the ‘Altar and the Door Tour,’ in 2007 which featured artists like Leeland and John Waller. The tour was a major success, grossing $4.4 million in ticket sales. 

Breaking all their previous records, Casting Crowns accomplished another feat as their single “East to West” from The Altar and the Door hit sixteen consecutive weeks at No. 1 in 2007.

The song ended up enjoying the top spot for a total of nineteen weeks later on, now their most prosperous single to date. Reliving history, one of their other songs was also featured as a soundtrack for Kirk Cameron’s film Fireproof from the same album. 

Adding to this list of achievements, Casting Crowns was one of the rare American bands to ever have been invited to North Korea.

They performed as chief entertainers in the 2009 Spring Friendship Arts Festival in Pyongyang where they performed with the Annie Moses Band. 

Breaking every boundary set for their genre of music, Casting Crowns’ fourth major studio album, Until the Whole World Hears, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 167,000 copies in its first week alone after its release on November 17, 2009.

The very next year, Casting Crowns won the Dove Award for Artist of the Year which was a huge accomplishment for a Christian rock band at that time.  Slowly most of the early members of the group left the scene, paving the way for new faces.

These included Andy Williams in the year 2009 and in 2012, Josh Mix replaced guitar player Hector Cervantes. However, their journey continued with the release of their hymn album, Glorious Day – Hymns of Faith, exclusively through Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores in early 2015. From this point on their fan base grew beyond all bounds and they had achieved immortalized fame. 

However, in 2021, the band received the devastating news of the sudden death of their longtime bandmate and comrade, Andy William after an unfortunate accident. 

The band released the song, “Scars in Heaven” a month after his unexpected demise.  According to critics, it had been a song about faith in the middle of a hopeless situation. “The only scars in Heaven are on the hands that hold you now,” Mark Hall sings in the chorus.

Mark unpacks the personal meaning it held for him in an exclusive interview.

He had been inspired to start to write the song as his grandparents passed away one after the other.

He found encouragement and inspiration in one particular story in Scripture. The song had been quite fitting for everyone who had lost someone during the pandemic or through sudden death. 

Andy Williams:

William had been one of the earliest band members of this well-acclaimed group.

He had left the spotlight amidst their climb to fame. However, this tight-knit group remained closer than ever, as William’s passing was announced by the lead vocalist of the band, Mark Hall on his Instagram through the following post, “Early this morning, around 1:00 am, Andy Williams went to be with Jesus.

He fought a great fight, but the injuries that he suffered took a toll on his physical body.” Andy Williams has died after suffering multiple injuries from a motorcycle accident that occurred while on his way to church for a Sunday worship service.

A GoFundMe had been set up to help Williams’ wife and children with medical bills. It has raised about $77,000 of its $250,000 goal.

The post continued with the following comforting message, “You prayed along with us that Andy would be healed.

You prayed along with us that Andy would wake up. You prayed along with us that God would perform a miracle. While we mourn that Andy isn’t here with us and that we didn’t get to witness the miracle we longed for here on earth, all of our prayers were answered.

He is healed, he is awake and we believe that he is more alive today than he has ever been. “

Where are they now?

Following a short yet successful 42-city spring run, Casting Crowns announced plans for the much-awaited Healer Tour to an additional 37 major markets across the nation.

This Award-winning group released their new album, Healer, on January 14, 2022.

When the world shut down for the pandemic, frontman and songwriter Mark Hall felt the need to write about this moment of recovery and healing.

According to him, “This whole album is about healing, about how God meets us where we are and what His healing looks like.” The tour was a celebration of our rejuvenated world after much tragedy.

Many bands and artists had been featured on this tour, however, Hillsong Worship, the music arm of Hillsong Church made the most headlines along the line.

Hillsong Church has been under fire after a string of scandals and accusations including the resignation of founder Brian Houston, who is accused of sexual impropriety and breaching the church’s code of conduct.

This was followed by the resignation of several other top leaders. Hillsong has been abandoned on many fronts, including the loss of nine of 16 American church campuses in recent weeks.

They posted a letter of encouragement on Facebook for ticket holders to keep their plans to attend the concert, saying, “We know you will be ministered to deeply by the Lord through our friends Casting Crowns and We The Kingdom, who is absolutely incredible.”


Needleless to say, Casting Crowns has dominated the contemporary Christian music scene for over two decades and will continue preaching the message of goodwill and harmony through their tunes.