Lead singer Stephen Christian met bassist Deon Rexroat while they were both in middle school. Being avid musicians, the two formed a Christian punk band called SaGoh (Servants after Gods own heart) 24/7. Eventually, Sean Hutson, a drummer, and Joseph Milligan, a guitarist and fellow student, completed the lineup. The band released two albums, Servants After God's Own Heart (1999), and Then I Corrupt Youth (2001), both under Rescue Records. Selling a measly 1,300 units, the group began to deteriorate. Hutson, seeking to start a family, left the band, and Nathan Young, a drummer from another touring band, was to fill in temporarily, but ultimately became a permanent member. Christian and Milligan, in the midst of the downfall of the band, began working on an acoustic side project, which trans-mutated into Anberlin after Milligan suggested pursuing more of a rock sound. Some SaGoh 24/7 songs would later become Anberlin songs, reworked to fit the band's new alternative rock style.