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Local country band witnesses through music

Nov. 17, 1998



Cross Country, a local Christian country band, won't have to travel across country but simply across town to perform 8 p.m. Friday at The Compass Christian Lifestyle Superstore on West Waco Drive.

Cross Country is a progressive Christian country band. The band has been playing concerts for several years now and has had many recent television appearances. Their first album, titled Burning Bridges, brought them their first number one hit, Burn Bridge Burn. Their second album, Givin' Livin,' has earned them three more hits and an appearance on the Christian Country Music Association Awards.

'Our music is like the mainstream artists Alabama and Diamond Rio,' said John Clawson, manager of sound and lighting.

Cross Country got its start seven years ago. The founder, Leo Johnston, decided to put together a group that could sing country music which would glorify the Lord.

'We didn't want to be a bunch of boys singing in our beer,' Johnston said. 'We wanted to expose people to God through everyday stories, and that is what country music is about.'

The concert at The Compass will also include a party celebrating the band's No. 1 hit, Hang onto the Cross, which is currently at the top of the Christian Country Research Bulletin music charts. The songs is Johnston's testimony about when he was near death and how God miraculously saved his life. The song was released throughout the country, and included with the release was Johnston's testimony.

'Since the release of the song, we have received phone calls telling us that people have been saved through my testimony,' Johnston said.

Cross Country is a non-profit organization that also focuses on prison ministry. Each year the band takes several weeks to spend time in the prisons. They offer concerts under tents and preach in conjunction with the Mike Barbers ministry.

The band's motto is 'givin' their all, livin' their all.' Johnston said they are trying to show through their music that God gives hope and it is possible to give your all to Him.

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