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JFH Music News Report


A trio of local churches enters the digital marketplace to share their music with the world

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NEWS SOURCE: Syntax Creative
April 26, 2018

Syntax Creative is pleased to announce partnerships with three churches that are soon scheduled to release new music — Gateway Assembly of Imlay City, Michigan, Foothills Christian Church of El Cajon, California, and The Grove Church of San Diego, California.

In addition to releasing several music videos and a few features films, Gateway will drop a new album titled SEVEN by its band WE ARE ONE in June on its new record label, Mainstay Records. Until then, listeners can enjoy WE ARE ONE’s recently released self-titled EP at all major digital service providers.

“The fact that everything seems to be moving digital is an incredible advancement for anyone willing to take their art seriously and devote themselves to doing it with excellence,” Stephen Krist of Gateway Assembly said. “It decreases the risk in the creation process itself and yet allows a faster and broader delivery to the end-user. We end up both in music and movies with the ability to create more and reach more people than we ever could in the analog days.”

Grove Church Worship, which released its debut EP last year, plans to put out its first full-length album, the Dream Project, this upcoming August. The Dream Project will be a live album of original worship songs recorded at the 1,370-foot mountain-top summit of Mt. Helix, which is a nearly 100-year-old outdoor amphitheater.

“We don’t believe that the digital marketplace is the future. We believe it is the now,” Caleb Hoffman of The Grove Church said. “We believe that digital streaming is the best way to spread our music beyond our own congregation.”

Foothills Christian Church recently released Return, which features nine songs written by its members and one cover of a classic worship song. Return is available now at all major digital service providers.

“We understand that this is the future and are excited that doors will be opened to share our church’s worship music in a broader way,” Mike VanMeter of Foothills said.

Foothills holds one of the largest youth conferences on the West Coast. Its Future Quest youth conference has been held for over 20 years and sees a regular attendance of over 2,600 every year. In addition, Foothills has five after-school youth centers called Youth Ventures that have been in existence for over 20 years and are open virtually every day of the year. The centers are 100 percent volunteer staffed and serve as a safe place for teens to build relationships and learn how to navigate life.

“I love the local church,” Syntax Creative CEO Timothy Trudeau said. “It’s a living, breathing organism that reflects the unique geographic and chronological space that it resides within. While not everything a local Church does is necessary for the Global Church, there are moments when something can resonate with a much wider audience. One of the ways this happens is through song. For example, when John Newton reflected on his disgraceful involvement in the slave trade, he penned “Amazing Grace”. Or when Horatio Spafford considered his great loss and still decided to choose joy, he wrote: “It Is Well”. Or more recently, when Irish band Bluetree took a trip to Pattaya Thailand and performed in a brothel, they came face-to-face with the ugliness that is sex-trafficking, which resulted in the song “God of This City”.

“While a song, teaching or event may originate with an individual or local church, the message within might be what the whole world needs to hear. It’s a privilege to assist these three local churches with their goal of getting their music to a much wider audience.”

The Syntax team is excited to work alongside three entities with visions similar in heart yet unique in execution.

“We need professionals who understand the industry to promote our music,” Hoffman said, “and we love the vision of Syntax to work with the local church.”

“Syntax has been incredible to work with and welcomed us into the family in a way we didn’t expect and, to be frank, isn’t very common in this industry,” Krist said. “We ultimately chose to go with them because they do what they do well, but way more important to us, they’re great people to work with.”

Gateway Assembly is an Imlay City, Michigan-based church that launched in 1998. Around 1,400 people assemble weekly at Gateway, which is also home to a feature film and media production studio. Gateway recently launched a record label to release their original music, the first of which will come from the church’s emerging worship band, WE ARE ONE. To learn more, visit

The Grove Church was founded in 2010 by senior pastor John Hoffman, who has been shepherding for the past 24 years. The Grove is located in San Diego, California and has quickly grown its membership to over 1,000. To learn more, visit

Foothills Christian Church is a contemporary, non-denominational church located in El Cajon, California. Since Foothills was founded in 1987, its membership has multiplied to over 5,000 people. To learn more, visit

Syntax Creative is one of the top independent digital distributors, design firms, and marketing agencies, representing more than 130 record labels. Their impressive list of clientele includes Saddleback Church, Elevation Church, Crossover Church, Free Chapel, Living Word Christian Center, The Well Community Church, Vineyard Worship, Crossroads Label Group, Central South, Daywind Records, and Fearless LA Church, among others. To learn more, visit



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