Actor, songwriter, author and artist, Wendell Burton, 69, died last Tuesday, May 31, in Houston from complications of brain cancer. Starring opposite Liza Minnelli in 1969’s The Sterile Cuckoo, he also starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame rendition of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. He released four contemporary Christian albums in the late 70s through mid 80s and had 4 charting singles. He told ChristianMusicWeekly, that his first single, Brand New Life, came from a homework assignment at the Vineyard School of Discipleship (classmates included Keith Green, Jamie Owens and Debby Boone). He became senior director of Lakewood Church’s Champions Network in 2002. “I honestly can say that I had no fear of death,” he said. “I know that sounds strange. But I didn’t. I had a peace. I knew it would be inconvenient. Because I had things I wanted to do.”
John Waller, (singles: War Room’s “Crazy Faith” and Fireproof’s “While I'm Waiting”) released a single and video Awakening (aka The Coffee Song). from a full-length album out later this year. "This is by far the most fun I've ever had making a music video," says Waller, who shares that coffee is often a part of his journey of faith. “When my wife Josee and I would get up in the morning, we would always make coffee, sit down, pray and spend time with God in His Word.” Their love for God and coffee, along with their story of adoption, not only sparked the new hit single and video, but led the Waller’s to launch Crazy Faith Coffee. “We went from five to nine children in one year. It was a crazy story, but it’s inspired a lot of people. So, we came up with the concept of sharing stories like that inside of bags of coffee.”
Carmen Justice released her second single Red & Yellow Black & White featuring GabeReal from TobyMac’s Diverse City Band. “There is so much happening in the world right now that could be solved in an instant if we would learn to just embrace each other with love,” explains Carmen. “We are living in a time that it has become acceptable to tear each other apart and box people into categories based on the color of their skin. As Christians, we are called to LOVE people regardless of race, religion, culture or nationality. Remember the old children's song ‘Jesus Loves The Little Children’? The line from that nursery rhyme says, ‘red and yellow black and white, they are precious in His sight’ and that triggered the concept of this song.” Red & Yellow Black & White is the follow up single to Flaming Arrows.
Tenth Avenue North announced the fall I Have This Hope tour with Brandon Heath and Jon McLaughlin. The single, I Have This Hope, is a personal, tender ballad was written during a time of personal uncertainty in guitarist's Jeff Owen’s life. Jeff's sister-in-law, a 32-year-old mother of three, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She began chemo treatments in early February of 2016 just as the band first began writing for Followers. Rooted in Isaiah 43, “I Have This Hope," was penned in her honor. Two-and-a-half months after the song was written, when the band entered the studio to record the song, Owen’s brother and sister-in-law received the news that her cancer was in remission. It was divine intervention and a literal in-studio reminder to the band that God is in the details. The song has been making an impact at radio this year and heard in by thousands of fans during the 2017 Winter Jam Tour that the band was part of during January through April.