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Biography by Mark Deming
One of the leading artists and activist within contemporary Christian music, Chris Tomlin is a successful singer and songwriter whose 2005 album Arriving has sold over 500,000 copies, and whose compositions "Holy Is the Lord" and "How Great Is Our God" are among the most popular contemporary songs in the world's churches, being sung by millions of Christians at worship services every week. Born in Grand Saline, TX, in 1972, Tomlin grew up listening to country music and learned to play guitar from his father (Tomlin has cited Willie Nelson's Stardust as a key influence). At the age of nine, Tomlin accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, and at 14 wrote his first song of praise. Tomlin enrolled at Texas A&M in the early '90s to study medicine, but he became active in a campus worship and Bible study group called Breakaway, led by an ambitious young pastor named Louie Giglio. As Breakaway grew, Tomlin became increasingly active with the group, and he eventually became a worship leader as well as performing his own songs at meetings. As Giglio's Breakaway group evolved into Passion, a nationwide organization for young Christians on college campuses, Giglio started a record company, Sixsteps Records, to record youth-oriented Christian artists. Tomlin, who songs had become mainstays at Breakaway and Passion services, became one of Sixsteps' first signings, and The Noise We Make, released in 2001, was Tomlin's first album. The band Tomlin assembled while serving as a pastor at
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