Newspring Church in Anderson, SC is home to several thousand on any given Sunday at their 8+ campuses across South Carolina (Florence, Greeneville, Charleston, Columbia, Spartanburg and recently Myrtle Beach). With such amazing reach you’d expect a lot from a church of this size. With 18 services among their campuses not to mention online, Newspring Church is advancing the kingdom in a powerful way. I was first introduced to them by watching their online services as a newly hired Worship Pastor at my church. I was desperate for ideas and resources concerning planning, song selection and all that stuff we get to do in our race to make Sunday happen.
I got the opportunity to meet Lee McDerment (Worship Pastor) on a trip to visit the Anderson Campus with my creative team in 2007. Besides being impressed with the service, the musicality of the team, the song choice and technical excellence. I was really taken with Lee and his leadership. One memorable moment was standing on the stage in between services looking at an empty auditorium, I asked Lee “what do you do when you’re leading worship and you see the folded arms?”. I’ll never forget what He said, “that’s the exact person we’re here to reach”.
This is the reason I believe Newspring has continued to increase their impact and growth as a church. In addition, they have put their name on the map by releasing incredible songs for their church. I remember the first time I heard “Our God Is Love” from Lee McDerment’s solo record “Matchlight In the Dark”. The heavy, riff rock vibe and the powerful corporate lyrics made it an instant favorite at our church. Since that initial record the worship team at Newspring has continued to show a value in songwriting by releasing a live record and their most recent effort “No Other Name”.
Recorded and produced by Justin Land at NewSpring Studio and Whitestone Studio, Greenville, SC, the aptly titled No Other Name exhibits a grand view of God on every track. With songs of devotion, victory, surrender, freedom and some signature instrumental pieces . . . this record stands out as one of my favorites from Newspring. The title “No Other Name” comes from Acts 4:12
“Salvation is found in no one else of there is no other name under heaven given to man by which we must be saved”.
The songwriting consistently speaks to the heart of the Gospel and their main focus as a church where change takes place. We believe growing people change, you can’t do life alone, saved people serve people, you can’t outgive God, and found people find people. This team always delivers powerful performances both musically and vocally. It was released to their church at a worship night in January and to the public on January 29, 2012.
One of the things that I was excited to hear is that most of the music was played by members from the huge worship team from Newspring. Knowing this was a group effort cast a large shadow over the quality of the record. Mainly because it showed that when you bring people and their god-given gifts together around a record that speaks the Gospel it’s incredible what the outcome can be. As I stated before Newspring never disappoints, so it should come as no shock that when using their team the result was pure “awesomeness”. Recently the entire worship team gathered to build community, cast vision for what’s ahead and celebrate what God has been doing in their midst. Here is a shot of them at the event:
Several songs stand out, but none are lacking. Some of them include Your’s Is the Victory, Glorious, How Beautiful Your Love, Holy Is Your Name, Sing It Out, and the anthemic title track No Other Namethat closes the record.
- Yours is the Victory comes right at you with the truth that the power of sin and the fear of death are covered up in the love of our Savior Jesus. It boasts that we are made alive in the righteousness of Christ alone. That at the cross where He took our place the victory was claimed by Jesus and Jesus alone. It’s anthemic and the perfect musical skin was picked to communicate these awesome, foundational truths of the Gospel.
- Glorious is sung beautifully by RoseAngela Merrit and is an overwhelming display of the awe we should experience when we enter into His presence. What an amazing thought that we can approach a Holy God . . . by the power of the cross we have overcome and can worship freely the one who gives us life.
- How Beautiful Your Love contains one of the best lines “Search me God cleanse me Purify my heart, I need Your mercy I’m ruined from the start”. Oh to be ruined for nothing more than the love of Jesus.
- Holy Is Your Name . . . what would a Newspring record be without a powerful rock n roll offering. A cry of our hearts as we declare that He has done great things, not for our glory but for His alone. He shines a light that cannot be hidden and empowers us to be the church in sharing His love.
- Sing It Out gives us a reason to do exactly what the title tells us. Declaring that we are no longer bound by shame and that the very Spirit of Christ lives in us. With confidence we can sing “I am yours, and you are mine” . . . so go ahead, sing it out!
- No Other Name is the perfect way to and this offering of songs. When I got to this track it felt like being led in worship, so that’s exacty what I did. I turned up the volume, barrelled down the highway and joined in as the voices of many others sang out these amazing truths . . .
“No other name is our shelter Our helper provider refuge and strength No other name has the power to save Has the power to conquer the grave”
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact them at NewSpring.cc. I promise you for a bunch of guys from so-called “smalltown” South Carolina, you’ll not find anyone with a bigger understanding of generosity and hospitatlity. I hope you enjoy these songs and find a way to use them in your church or in your own personal times of worship. All of Lee McDerment & NewSpring Worship’s music is available online at iTunes, Amazon and on their website, where you can also find Chord Charts.
Check out all of NewSpring Worship’s music:
***This “spotlight” series is a means to introduce the ever-growing worship community to worship music beyond their community. Please feel free to share this review and any others to your own circle of worship leaders, musicians and artists.**
As always #LiftHigh