MercyMe hopes to inspire concert-goers to consider others when it comes to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown Oct. 16.
The contemporary Christian music group sends messages not only about love through its music, but about making a difference.
"It's always been a part of us to at least to want to try to give back," said Nathan Cochran, bass guitar player for MercyMe. (The band started a campaign to find a cure for juvenile diabetes called Imagine a Cure, and they sponsor children through Compassion International.)
(Courtesy photo) MercyMe, a contemporary Christian band, has released a new album, “Introducing Mr. Lovewell.” He is a fictitious philanthropist who performs acts of kindness. The group will perform Oct. 16 at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena, Johnstown.
The band's newest album, "The Generous Mr. Lovewell," focuses on the theme of goodwill and compassion.
Plans for the album took shape after MercyMe - which includes singer Bart Millard, keyboard player James Bryson, drummer Robin Shaffer, bass player Cochran, and guitarists Michael Scheuchzer and Barry Graul - returned from a poor province in the Dominican Republic where band members met children they sponsor through Compassion International.
"Going down to a country that's so stricken with poverty, you're going to have a life-changing experience," Cochran said. "We wanted to write a record about love. We really tried to accomplish something at the same time. Whether it be big or small, we use every moment to make a difference. Whether it's mowing the yard for a neighbor or holding the door for somebody."
As humans it's easy for us to focus on ourselves, Cochran said. MercyMe hopes their songs will inspire people to reach out to people in need.
With the new album, "The Generous Mr. Lovewell," a fictitious character was born: a philanthropist who performs random acts of kindness every day.
"He's like Buddy the Elf meets Forrest Gump," Millard said. "He sees the good in everyone and knows his neighbors enough to know their needs."
Through "The Generous Mr. Lovewell," MercyMe hopes to inspire fans to spread their generosity as well.
"We can all inspire each other and ourselves," Cochran said.
MercyMe, who originally formed in 1994 after meeting on a missions trip at a military camp for children in Switzerland, attracts a diverse audience. Everyone from young kids to grandparents enjoy the upbeat music.
"I remember a show a couple weeks ago where I saw three generations singing along to our songs. It was great," Cochran said.
This is the third Christian music concert at the War Memorial in the past 12 months and MercyMe is
expected to draw a crowd.
"It's great music with a great message. It's our objective to provide the community with entertainment from all genres of music, as well as family shows and sporting events," said Susan Lucas, sales and marketing manager for the War Memorial.
"The Christian component is very important to this region and we are trying to serve the community with events that are desired by them."