Members: Mark Hall, Juan Devevo, Hector Cervantes, Andy Williams, Chris Huffman, Megan Garrett
Christian pop group Casting Crowns began as a student worship band in Daytona Beach, FL, in 1999. Led by singer, songwriter, and youth pastor Mark Hall, the group initially included guitarists Juan DeVevo and Hector Cervantes and violinist Melodee DeVevo. The group relocated to McDonough, GA, in 2001, adding Chris Huffman on bass, Megan Garrett on keyboards and accordion, and drummer Andy Williams. This augmented version of Casting Crowns released two independent albums on CD, both of which were well received in the Atlanta area. One of the albums found its way into the hands of Mark Miller, lead singer for country group Sawyer Brown, who was struck by Casting Crowns' driving pop/rock style and Hall's vocal delivery of his hard-hitting but devout songs. Miller signed Casting Crowns to his fledgling Beach Street Records, a division of Reunion Records with distribution by the Provident Label Group, and took the group into the studio along with co-producer Steven Curtis Chapman, himself a popular artist on the CCM musical scene. The resulting album, Casting Crowns, was released in 2003 on the Beach Street imprint. A sampler with five songs, Live from Atlanta, was released on Reunion Records in 2004, packaged with a bonus DVD containing band interviews and a music video. Lifesong, released in August 2005, was their most successful record yet and became a Top Ten national hit.