Third Day Still Clicks with Worship Mix

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Third Day235Third Day (l. to r.) Mark Lee, Mac Powell, David CarrThird Day is a heritage Christian band with a stack of hit songs and slew of awards over its 20+ year recording history. Along the way they've played to a generation of followers. But recently they were introduced to some new friends.

"We were on tour with Steven Curtis Chapman, and some nights we asked the crowd if they had ever seen us (in concert) before," said Third Day lead singer Mac Powell of their concert pairing.

"There definitely were some who never had. So hopefully we are making some new fans."
Powell and his Third Day band mates are still riding on their 2015 release "Lead Us Back." Although worship-based songs are sprinkled throughout their catalog, this collection is their first full-fledged worship album in 12 years.

"We wanted this one to be a very corporate singing sort of album – there's a choir singing throughout," said Powell, 43. "And we loved bringing in a lot of other voices to sing with us."

Among the guest vocalists are All Sons & Daughters who sang on the anthem "Soul On Fire." The memorable tune led the project and was named by Billboard Magazine as the No.1 Christian airplay song of 2015.

"That's a song that was a big surprise for us, a latecomer to the record," Powell added. "For a band being around as long as we have it was cool for us to have a hit like that, and we love playing it every night." (See the video at

Artists such as Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant and David Crowder also show up on the CD.


Third Day could spend an entire concert playing its No. 1 radio hits – they've scored will over two dozen of them. Songs like "Show Me Your Glory," "I Have Always Loved You" and "Call My Name" still ring with long-time fans.

But Powell said their version of the worship tune "God of Wonders" is one which never fails to resonate to a broad spectrum of their audiences. Powell originally recorded it 16 years ago as part of a compilation album, but the band has consistently made it part of its concert sets.

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The Third Day profile has increased over the years. They were the first Christian band ever to be featured in a Billboard cover story. The band has performed on numerous network TV programs, including "The Tonight Show."

The membership of the Atlanta-based band has remained remarkable steady over its run. The handful of membership changes include long-time guitarist Brad Avery, who left in 2008. And just last year bass guitarist Tai Anderson moved on from the group, leaving original members Powell, guitarist Mark Lee and drummer David Carr in the Third Day ensemble.

"When Tai left we had a friend of ours from Atlanta come in to join us on tour – Tim Gibson – and he's done a great job," Powell noted.


The multi-talented Powell has tried his hand at producing in addition to his songwriting and performing. He's been a part of various projects with other artists. Two years ago he recorded a solo country album ("Southpaw"), offering a sample of the musical roots molded by his Alabama-upbringing.

Powell and his family have remained busy on the home front. He and his wife Aimee have five children, the youngest two adopted. In 2012 Powell hosted a live Twitter chat with adoption-seeking couples facilitated by the Grand Rapids-based Bethany Christian Services.

"(Our kids) all in school now, which really opens up the days for us and gives us a few hours to rest," he smiled.

Through the years Powell's "look" has alternated between short and long hair, and short and full beard. What's he sporting these days? "Right now its short hair, short beard," he offered. "But you never know with me – I may dye my hair blonde again!"

The Details:
Third Day, with special guest Warren Barfield
7 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 25 (doors open 6:15 p.m.)
Ridge Point Community Church, 340 104th Ave. Holland
Tickets $26.75 general admission, $65 Gold Circle (with special 6 p.m. entry)
Available via, 800-965-9324
Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Terry is journalist who writes for newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. His most frequented “beat” is arts and entertainment. He is married with two children and lives in Grand Rapids.

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