After a decade-long stint growing a popular student ministry at Baylor University in Texas, Louie Giglio and his wife Shelley moved to Atlanta in 1995 and started the Passion conferences, a national collegiate ministry that used live worship music and teaching to encourage young people to live for the glory of God.
Yearly Passion events served as the movement's centerpieces: multi-day, festival-styled gatherings whose attendance grew exponentially from a couple of thousand when Passion held its first get-together in 1997 to up to 40,000 in 2000. Since the second gathering in Austin, Texas in 1998, Passion decided to document the musical portion of the annual conferences via live worship recordings that featured praise songs with an alternative edge.
The original worship leader at the conferences was Charlie Hall, but soon other collaborators including Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Christy Nockels, and Matt Redman joined the fold. The growing popularity of the live discs and each of these worshippers' songs led Giglio to create sixstepsrecords, which would serve as a creative hub for the entire Passion team.
Of the whole family, Tomlin and David Crowder Band would go on to reach superstar status; the former would earn the label its first RIAA gold-certified album with 2004's Arriving. Multiple awards, nominations, and showings in the upper echelons of Billboard's Christian charts made the Passion and sixsteps brands the most popular in modern worship music, with many of their songs sung by millions in churches all across the country
In 2006, sixsteps released The Best of Passion (So Far), a two-disc retrospective chronicling the first ten years in the life of the movement. The annual Passion concerts became a praise & worship tradition and live releases drawn from each year's concert continued to appear in 2006 (Everything Glorious), 2008 (God of This City), 2011 (Passion: Here for You), and 2012 (White Flag). Let the Future Begin arrived in 2013 and underscored its title with motivational lyrics and uptempo beats, while 2014's Take It All added a bonus DVD to the album's physical release.
The 2015 Passion conference featured three separate live events held at both the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia and the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The resulting album, Even So Come, showcased performances from Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, and others.
In 2016, several of the world’s most renowned worship leaders came together to write and record Passion: Salvation’s Tide Is Rising, which debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Christian Albums chart and reached the Top 5 overall after its January 1 digital release.
Featuring Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Melodie Malone, Brett Younker and Jimi Cravity, the worship anthems were introduced to more than 40,000 18-25 year old’s at Passion 2016 conferences held in Houston and Atlanta arenas.
Since then, the band has been joined by vocalist/guitarist Sean Curran, formerly of Bellarive, and have released an album each in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Those albums are Worthy Of Your Name, Whole Heart, and Follow You Anywhere respectively.
The band is currently made up of vocalists Kristian Stanfill, Melodie Malone, Brett Younker, and Sean Curran, guitarists Brian Carl and Chris Donovan, bassist Ray Coury, keyboardist Jeff Lawson, and drummer Paul Whittinghill.
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A new generation of worship music| Posted March 14, 2011
I love everything that Passion has put out because it reflects the younger generation and how we focus on our relationship with Christ. For some it's hard to connect to our Savior with traditional worship attributes. Thank you Passion for helping me sing out to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.