Posted by: worshipguitarguy | September 17, 2008

Thank You, 7:22.

A real post is coming this week, I promise.

Next Tuesday night is the final worship gathering for 7:22 at Buckhead Church in Atlanta, Georgia.  If you don’t know about it, 7:22 was started in the fall of 1995(?) as a singles Bible study in Atlanta by Bill Willits and Louie Giglio (from Passion Conferences).  After a short season, it eventually found a home at Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta where it remained for most of its’ history.  With Louie as the primary teacher, it quickly grew and became a teaching/worship springboard for names that many of us know well.   

In many ways, 7:22 pushed several envelopes and became an invaluable resource for some of us in worship ministry.  First, they began streaming their services on the web in the late 1990’s, at a time when streaming audio and video was virtually unheard of.  Second, they secured licensing rights from the publishers and record companies to stream their worship sets across the web.  This was no small thing since there was a point (I believe) where they had to stop streaming due to copyright claims from the record labels.  By webcasting their worship sets, many of us learned worship songs that are now staples in our churches, as well as developed as musicians and worship leaders. 

In the process, we grew to know the names and ministries of the 7:22 worship leaders and staff.  From the beginning, worship leader and guitarist Todd Fields brought with him some amazing southern rock chops which stood in stark contrast to his humble and down to earth nature as a worship leader.  To this day he is still a person that’s had profound impact on me.  7:22 was also a launching point for worship leader Steve Fee who in just this past year has gained recognition and airplay throughout the Christian Music community through his band Fee and their CD release “We Shine.”  In more recent years, Kristian Stanfill has emerged in a new generation of voices at 7:22, in addition to Eddie Kirkland, who joined the team this past year.  And that doesn’t even include occasional visits from guys like Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman, Phil Wickham, and the crew from Hillsong United

What makes the decision to end 7:22 even more remarkable was how it came about.  After a season of prayer, the team felt the current worship/teaching environment was not the best use of their resources for reaching their audience, the post college singles of Atlanta.  So they chose to close 7:22 as a worship service so they could transition into a season of prayer and looking for what was next.  For some of the team, this was a very personal decision since their income was tied to the ministry.  Knowing this, I can’t express how much respect I have for them.  They’ve not let their worship service become more sacred than their passion for sharing the message of Jesus with the singles of Atlanta. 

So this Tuesday marks the end of 7:22 as a worship gathering.  Even though I never had the chance to be in Alpharetta or Atlanta for a service, I’ve been one of the thousands of 7:22’ers who attended each week for the past 10 years through the streaming webcast.  I personally want to thank Bill and Louie for providing the vision and leadership that gave birth to the ministry.  Then to Billy Phenix, Joel Thomas and Jarrett Stevens, thank you for carrying that vision through the years as 7:22 moved and evolved.  Thank you Todd, Steve, Kristian, Eddie, and the amazing group of musicians that led each week; Candi Pearson-Shelton, Elliott and Cory Moon, Alex Nifong, Tim Gibson, Pat Malone, Scott Meeder(sp?), Steve Thomason, Jami Smith, Jeff Scott, and many more who’s names I don’t know.  Your musical gifts have shaped me as a musician and a lead worshipper.  I’m forever indebted to all of you.  And thank you Krista Glasscock, Jaime Waddy, Jeff Earnhardt, Greg Dolezal, and the thousands of people involved in organizing, producing, and praying over 7:22 each week.  Even though I did not see your faces, your work’s had a huge impact on me.  Thank you for your faith in believing in what you were doing, and in carrying the light of God to many corners of this world that you may never see.

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Responses

  1. Ditto. 722 kinda changed the way I saw worship music, and then worship as a whole. God definitely used them, at least in my life. 🙂

  2. Thanks man!
    Todd

  3. This ministry has been a blessing to my wife and I for many years. We are sad but also very excited that the folks at 7:22 are more devoted to God and what he is doing in this generation than they are with a program. Devotion speaks volumes.

  4. First ran across the group on WDAC (Lancaster, PA) while listening to their streaming broadcast on the ‘net. Quality of music, and more importantly leading us into God’s presence, right there with Hillsong, Brooklyn Tab, etc. Thanks for sharing a hint, albeit a small one, I’m sure, of what Heaven will be. I can hardly wait. Bet you guys will be a part of the orchestra…when you guys also aren’t flat on your faces with the rest of us. What a glorious time is will be, and thanks for reminding us, as Andrea Crouch has said, “It’ll be worth the waiting, all the anticipating…when we see Jesus!”


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