Zach Bolen never saw himself working in ministry. Not only was he nowhere near envisioning himself on staff at a mega-church, he never imagined himself as a worship leader.
Hailing from the Northeast, Bolen moved to Georgia to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design. He began volunteering at a church nearby, and after graduating, accepted a full time position as the student ministries worship leader. Rounding up students to play and urging them to actively worship, Bolen felt his heart for ministry completely shift.
It was there that he started to develop the sound you’ll love as much as we do. Bolen began to cultivate passionate ideas about what worship could look like; noticing how musicians engaged and motivated their fans, Bolen was inspired to do the same. Instead of pursuing the crowd for his own sake, however, Bolen wanted to engage people through music for the glorification of God. Enter Citizens.
Bolen began working at the Mars Hill U-district campus. He started reconstructing the worship teams that played there, and in the process built a band of his own. Together with Nate Garvey, Adam Skatula, Nathan Furtado, and Tom McConnell, Citizens was created. Born out of Ephesians 2:19, the name Citizens brings to mind every Christian’s allegiance to God.
Bolen notes, “He made us citizens, and in that He has chosen to abide in us. In song, we’re all lead by the same spirit. We’re singing as one body, one family; we’re all conjoined together by Christ.”
Mars Hill Music, Citizens’ label, is made up of a variety of musicians and worship leaders who serve throughout the various Mars Hill locations. Since its humble beginnings in 1996, Mars Hill has been committed to the philosophy that each local Mars Hill Church would engage the culture in its local surroundings and point people to Jesus. Each Mars Hill band strives to do this with a natural expression and outgrowth of what God is doing in their cities.
In that same vision, the men of Citizens look forward to what God has in store for them in Seattle. Bolen may have never seen himself working in ministry, but we’re glad God did.