The 700 Club | CBN News | Spiritual | Family | Health | Finance | Entertainment | TV | International | ShopCBN


Integrity Music

CBN.comIt has been said that adversity yields great art. And in the life of every believer, adversity yields great faith. So it stands to reason that when adversity shapes together art and faith, the results can be extraordinary.

Located in Bradford, England, Abundant Life Ministries is a remarkable testimony to the creative and spiritual power of adversity. Guided by Pastor Paul Scanlon, and with help from worship leaders Jonathan "Jock" James, Matt Hooper and Mark Stevens, Abundant Life has crafted songs that are inspired by and written for their community. But while a long-standing church in Bradford, Abundant Life didn't find its heartbeat until 20 years after its birth.

"When our pastor reinvented our church," Jock says, "He based our mission on three guiding concepts: To be purpose-driven, people-empowering, and God-centered."

This wasn't just a new direction. It was a new vision. A shift that would radically impact both the church and its city.

"We went from being a white, middle-class, conservative congregation, to actually reaching into our community," Jock says.

But Bradford isn't just any community. It boasts a diverse populace with Pakistanis, Indians, English and more, all coexisting in an area that is home to the country's second largest Muslim population. Bradford is also one of the poorest cities in the UK and is ravaged by drug abuse, human trafficking and prostitution. Not surprisingly, the Gospel is in short supply.

"People think England is a Christian country," Matt notes. "But less than 3 percent of the people here go to church. Most of the people in our church and city have no Christian background."

All of which makes for an intimidating environment that would scare away most churches. But true to Abundant Life's mission statement, these facts don't present a problem. Instead, they are a call to action.

"We have an amazing blank canvas," Matt enthuses. "We are here to serve these people. And we want to see them connect with God in a relevant way."

Mark adds, "From the foundation of our new church, our mission has been to make a powerful proclamation of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we started to see the power of that truth hit people's lives."

The result of this proclamation is a vibrant, multi-cultural, multi-campus church, with a worship ministry that has created songs as potent and dynamic as the community in which they were formed. They are psalms born of hardship, layered in truth, and infused with joy.

Now Abundant Life is partnering with Integrity Music to share their unique vision. Long a champion of harvesting worship songs for the global church, Integrity is proud to count the church's ALM:uk worship team and youth worship band RPM among a distinguished group of discoveries that include Gateway, New Life, Lakewood and Hillsong.

Guided by Dove Award-winning producer Bernie Herms (Casting Crowns, Selah and Brad Paisley), Name Above All Names is a powerful collection of worship music that's as unique as Bradford itself.

"There's an aggression, a determination, a defiance, that comes across in the songs," Mark says. "We place that sound in context of our city. Bradford needs real, direct strength and vision. It needs a church that's going to rise up with power."

Jock adds, "We wanted to write songs that would help churches, that people can use in their congregations... we're about the local church, and people connecting with God."

The result of their efforts is a soundtrack of hope conquering adversity. Take "Be Glorified," an anthem that carries the most personal of inspirations. For years, worship team member Mike Harvie struggled with an eye disease that was slowly eroding his vision. Though improving now, doctors had once told him he would be blind by middle age. Yet in the darkest of times, Mike composed a song that reflected the light he found in Christ.

Another standout is the anthem "God Is For Us," a driving reminder of God's majesty, protection and provision in a time when all is shaken. An important message for a community hit hard by economic collapse.

But perhaps it is the title track, "Name Above All Names," that best captures the heart of the church and its community.

Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.

Worship artist

official website


I Am Future (2012)

Name Above All Names (2010)