Members of Christian Soldiers Ministries
CULLMAN - Despite below-freezing temperatures, the Youth Explosion "No Limits" tour went on in Cullman this weekend at the Cullman Civic Center. The tour is part of a ministry that helps provide goods and services to families and children living at or below the poverty line, and concerts like Saturday’s help raise money to keep those services free. The tour plays an average of 200 concerts a year throughout the South with between 20 and 30 bands per concert, but Saturday's icy temperatures delayed the event, resulting in only nine bands being able to perform. The list of bands and artists included a wide variety of music genres, from rapper Chozen to Christian rock band God's Outlaws to heavy metal band Out of Black.
The promoters for the tour managed to hand out around 7,000 tickets to Cullman county residents, and even though less than 200 people made it out, an atmosphere of righteousness and divine power was heavy throughout the audience. After the first four performances, Reverend Garrett Dixon delivered a stirring, powerful speech to the performers about living as much like Christ as their music suggests and not making idols out of worldly items. After his sermon, Alicia Leigeber (CEO of the ministry) and Mike Lake (of Mike Lake Dance Productions) came together on stage to invite the audience to pray and seek healing and forgiveness. What happened next some described as a miracle as a man who said he had hip trouble began to jump without any problems and another man who claimed to have severe foot pain began running around the room without limping. The call to prayer concluded on an emotional note as audience members came to the stage to testify what their faith had done for them, then the music continued for the night.
Although this is the first time Youth Explosion has come to Cullman, it will not be the last. Leigeber says that she has already made plans to have a back-to-school event for the No Kids Left Behind campaign at Wallace State Community College on June 23 of this year. She also says that if anyone would like to help, the campaign is always looking for sponsors.
The Tribune was able to interview one of the performing bands, Christian Soldiers, who has been with the tour since it started. The band, together for nearly three years, performs benefit concerts in addition to their regular concerts and the Youth Explosion tour. One benefit that they do annually is a concert for the Long Ranch 4 Boys boys' home in Fyffe, Alabama, which involves both a donation drive to raise money and a collection drive to provide shoes, clothing and food.
The band can be contacted to perform for a charity through their website, www.christiansoldiersministries.com, or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ChristianSoldiersJesusRock) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/Chrstnsldrs). Currently, they have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to go to Nashville and have a music producer edit and remaster their current album to be played on radio.
Lead singer Richard Greenwood said, “We want our music to be heard because God has given us a message, and that message is gonna touch somebody's heart, whether they hear it on accident or if someone's just running through a list of channels looking for something to listen to and something that we have on the radio just catches their ear."
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