NEW YORK, NY - The first album of a new Christian group was launched last Thursday in the heart of New York City.
The album, Peace, is entirely sung, mixed, and produced by a church - Christian City Church Manhattan - made up of young professional urbanites.
The downtown Manhattan launch featured crowd-pleasing guitar, drums, bass, piano, and a deluge of singers, each of them in their mid-late 20s and wishing to use their talents to worship the Lord.
"Gonna sing about my Jesus. Gonna sing about my love," crooned Maria, the lead female singer.
Most of the crowd were also in their twenties and thirties, some even younger. Featuring a bar and mood lighting, the launch party was akin to a downtown club.
By "speaking their language," dressing in "different clothes," and worshipping to "different music," the church creates a safe place for these young urbanites to come to know Jesus, Senior Pastor Stephen Hisickson, 40, of Christian City Church Manhattan said.
"My impression is that people have become disconnected from the church, but they still want Jesus, so we try our best to get away from the things about church and connect people to Jesus."
Christian City Church International began 25 years ago with the mission to target urban professionals, young people, and business people in major cities and bring them to church.
Thus far, Christian City Church has expanded to 130 churches worldwide on all major continents, and since its beginning in 1999, the Manhattan branch has grown to around 400 congregants.
The album was inspired by the 9/11 tragedy and was recorded two years ago. However, Whittacker Entertainment, the newly created entertainment division of Whittacker Publishing only discovered it recently.
The band was formed in the post-9/11 turmoil and fear, and out of a desire to worship and find "peace" together.
"They all got their own songs, experiences from post-911 and they journeyed to find peace in a time of turmoil," said Hisickson, who does not perform as part of the group.
Along with the Manhattan-produced album, "Cure for Gravity," by Steve Deal, the worship director for the Atlanta branch of Christian City Churches was also released by Whittacker Entertainment.
A mix of pop and rock-inspired worship songs, the album goal is to "bring you a little closer to Jesus," said Maria.
Holding martini glasses and sipping champagne, the crowd worshipped and danced as Maria sang, "Let me tell you that my best friend, let me sing it to you my best friend, his name is Jesus."