Unspoken's road pastor Darryl Carnley gives us an inside look at what road life is like, and how he came to be the road pastor for the hit Christian band. Darryl Carnley was a pastor for 25 years, but now tours with Unspoken and has his own ministry called My360Project. His ministry goes into other countries and puts shoes on kids' feet that people can actually build in-country. Darryl shares how Unspoken has become an advocate for his ministry, and how they wrote the song "Can't Even Love Myself," inspired by a conversation on a mission trip with Chad.
How did you meet Chad from the band Unspoken?
Of course, I've admired their band for many years, but I met him in June 2014. I was running an event called "Treasure Valley God and Country" event in Idaho, and we had booked them as our band. That was the first time I'd ever worked directly with them. I've worked directly with other bands, but that was my first time to have met Chad personally. I'd seen him in concert, but I'd never met him personally. We just hit it off really well, it was really cool.
How did you become the road pastor for Unspoken?
He was introducing me to someone that we were with and I jokingly said I was Chad's vocal coach. Chad looked at me and he goes, "You're not our vocal coach you're our road pastor." Because I've been out with them doing things, it was kind of an unofficial title that was given. It kind of stuck from there. I'm not with them on the road all the time because we all have different responsibilities, but after that, that was just kind of the title that was given to me. Before the band goes on, or even when they're on the road, and we're having breaks, we always do a Bible study. Chad's really big into Bible studies. He'll turn the Bible study right to me and I'll do the whole thing. He's an advocate of having a Bible study before they go on stage. Sometimes we'll do communion. That was kind of what drew us all together and kind of started this. I would hate to say it started as a joke but I was just having fun to tell people I was his vocal coach. Which I can't sing a bit, I am a horrible singer. I make a joyful noise to the Lord!
What's it like touring with them?
We're on a bus, it's noisy, there are all kinds of people. It's a fun time, it's a great community, but it's not an easy way to live. We're up late, sometimes we're up really early. I now have a totally new respect for any band, I don't care if they're Christian or non-Christian. It is a lot of work, and any band that can be doing what Unspoken's doing this long is amazing. It wears me out!
You have a ministry called My360Project that puts shoes on kids' feet in other countries. How did Unspoken become involved with the ministry and come to write the song "Can't Even Love Myself" for it?
Chad was radically changed and saved on a mission trip 16 years ago, and since then he hadn't done another mission trip like that. So I had invited him back in 2018 to our place in Mexico in Vicente Guerrero down by Ensenada on the Baja coast. Ariel, Chad and Jon, along with Chad's family, Katie and his three children, went on a mission trip. It absolutely just touched them. Chad was an alcoholic and a drug addict, so he was able to go into one of the ministries that we work with, it's a rehab for men, and he was able to share his testimony. It was incredible. We did a little spontaneous concert. Having Ariel was great because he can speak Spanish, and that worked out. Then they gave shoes to children, they built shoes, they did the whole thing. They were just touched, so they've been a real advocate for us, helping bring awareness to the need of shoes on children. That's really how it connected, was when they went on a trip. They really enjoyed the human connect of washing children's feet, and their children washing children's feet in the migrant camps. That was really our big connect there. They've been a great voice for us. You mentioned the song that Chad wrote called "Can't Even Love Myself." A lot of that came out of a discussion we had about the word "my." To learn how to love your neighbor as yourself.
How did My360Project get started?
We started in 2015 working on the idea. We were connected to a guy named Mike Friton, who is retired from Nike. He's an innovator, and a designer and he helped us design a shoe that we could build in-country, so we could teach women and men how to become cobblers or shoe designers. October 2016 was the first shoe that we ever put on people and started testing it, and then we had our first project in Uganda in January 2017. We went into Haiti in April 2017, and then from Haiti down into Mexico. We just had a project that happened in India a week ago, and that was our 10th country that our shoes have gone into. There are other great shoe organizations, but we just wanted to do something that we could source in-country and we could teach people how to build shoes in the country so that we would really be a sustainable ministry.
How can we pray for you as well as your ministry as you tour with Unspoken?
For the Unspoken side, for these guys and gals that are on the road. It is so imperative that we cover them in prayer. They need their rest. They're in front of crowds every night, sharing the Gospel. What my concern is from the backside, is that I'm there encouraging them, so that when they get on the stage, they are clear-minded, and they're sharing what God's given them to share. I really pray that as these artists are writing songs, they're being written from the right part of their heart and they're truly helping convict people to live for God. With the song "Can't Even Love Myself," as people listen to the words, I just pray that it encourages them to just totally rely on Jesus to help them overcome anything in their life. We know that Jesus is the answer, it's just realizing He's the answer. So I just pray as we cover the artists, that their minds and their hearts are clear to share the Gospel.
Grace Chaves is a fan of all things Christian music, and is one of NRT's youngest writers. She's homeschooled, and loves concerts, Jesus, and songwriting.
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