A Mobile, AL native, these days Chris calls Nashville, TN home. Growing up, his routine looked something like practice guitar, practice, practice, sleep, eat, go to school, practice until lights out, then repeat it all again the next day. Playing and singing at church, writing songs at an early age, and performing in talent shows were all foundational in his growing desire to do music professionally. During college Chris honed his musical crafts while touring and performing, feeding his love for the road. Soon after college, he received a phone call and was invited to go on the road and play guitar with contemporary Christian music group, Truth. After his time with Truth, the focus turned back to the studio, writing songs, recording, and producing, which led to a record deal with Fairtrade, as a member of CCM pop group, 33Miles, which was nominated for the Best New Artist category at the GMA Dove Awards, won BMI Song of the Year with their hit single “One Life to Love”, and had numerous top 10 radio singles. For ten years, 33Miles partnered and shared the stage with artist(s) such as Amy Grant, Switchfoot, MercyMe, Chris Tomlin, Brandon Heath, Casting Crowns, Britt Nicole, Building 429, and many many more.
“There’s always another level that you can go, always, but 33Miles was as successful and in the middle of the music industry as you could ever want to be, then, all of the sudden, the momentum just seemed to stop.” They parted with their label, and due to the introduction of music streaming, the financial climate in the music industry became difficult to weather, much less to forecast, which began to suffocate the love for the music and what they were doing. It was a perfect storm. So in 2014, envisioning the grass being greener, Chris left 33Miles. Though it was one of the hardest decisions he’d ever made, he imagined everything falling into place, a career that would continue to flourish, doors swinging wide open, every dream realized, but that was not the case. After 15 years of, what felt like, a dream come true, everything came to a screeching halt. “When you work your whole life to be great at something, and all the signs, the experiences, the people you trust and respect, affirm your work, then suddenly every door slams in your face… it’s paralyzing.” Chris found himself barely making end’s meet each month, depressed, with little to no career, trying to provide for a loving wife, two beautiful children, and one on the way. Ashamed, envious, mad at himself, at God, jealous of everyone around him, he didn’t have a clue as to what do or where to turn. Though receiving a call to produce a record, do the occasional recording session, and still writing songs, even landing an unexpected radio single, everything continued to remain pretty sparse, which meant he remained broke.
As things continued to spiral, Chris found himself falling back into the arms of an old love… distance running. The emotional suffering was so great that he found himself in need of a challenge, something out of the ordinary, that would help alleviate the pain. So later that year, in the spirit of seeking out a goal to work towards, Chris registered and began training for an ultra marathon, a 50 mile foot race. “It was everything I believed it would be and more… challenging, exhilarating, painful, inspiring. To do something you didn’t know, 7 months earlier, was humanly possible, and to actually see it through, is a game changer.” On the night that he returned home from the race, he limped to the shower and collapsed under the shower’s hot water, crying, broken. It was in that moment where Chris realized that he wasn’t the failure he had perceived himself to be, it was, simply put, a difficult season, and just as an ultra marathon requires a type of mental and physical toughness, life also calls for its own unique expressions of faith and endurance.
It was in that moment, sitting on the shower floor, that a spiritual awakening was birthed, setting Chris on a path of curiosity towards unlocking & unleashing an optimal faith, not one that only helps us when we’re in the fire, but a faith that goes so far as to prevent, even reverse, life’s many pangs and illnesses to which we’ve grown so accustomed, ultimately leading us into the divine life. “Just as elite athletes are highly committed to the process and discipline of training through nutrition, hydration, rest & recovery, strength training, etc… how much more committed should we all be to the utilizing and maximizing of every God-given resource in effort to make the most of the real ultra marathon we’re all running, this race called life?
Making music, running, reading, writing, podcasting, or just doing life… whatever the endeavor, Chris’ ultimate goal is to awaken and inspire a life filled with faith, freedom, and fulfillment.