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Teenage praise band releases album

They stay away from sex, drugs and alcohol, spend time praying together and belt out songs about Jesus.
The six members of Xtreme TRUTH Praise Band may not be your average rockers, but they’re definitely dedicated to the music.
The group recently released their first album, “Set Me Free,” which can be bought at My Father’s Business in Cherryville. The group’s songs can be heard on radio stations WCSL 1590 in Cherryville and WLON 1050 in Lincolnton.
“It’s really cool,” said singer and guitarist Zack Poston, a junior at Cherryville High School. “It’s always been a dream to be on the radio.”
It wasn’t an overnight accomplishment. The band, which was formed years ago, has seen members come and go. It wasn’t until recently they started composing their own music and making serious plans.
“If you could hear us a few years ago, you would have thought it was garbage,” said drummer Andrew Whitson, a senior at South Point High School.
The group is part of Xtreme TEAM Ministry, a “thrilling and exciting adventures ministry” based out of Cherryville.
The ministry, headed by the Rev. Ed and Felicia Bowman, is made up of teenagers ministering to teenagers. The goal is to both enjoy life and serve Christ at the same time.
The ministry began six years ago, and the praise band soon followed. It’s current incarnation, however, has only been around a couple of years.
The group’s original sound can be hard to describe.
“It’s kind of a mix between Billy Joel and Guns and Roses, but it’s gospel,” said Ed Bowman.
Song writing is a collaborative effort for the group. Inspiration comes from a variety of places, including ex-girlfriends, but there’s always the same focus – spirituality.
Every member of the group says God called them to join. As for the future, “We’ll just see where God leads us,” said Poston.
While Christianity is at the heart of the group, that doesn’t mean there’s never conflict. They are teenagers after all, and sometimes the air is so tense you could “cut it with a butter knife.”
“There’s drama, but there’s not as much as you would get in a regular youth group,” said singer Mercedes Rudisill, a junior at East Lincoln High School.
The group tries to deal with any conflicts that arise.
“Prayer is the best way,” said bass guitarist Robby Bumgarner, a junior at Cherryville High School.
And despite the occasional spat, all is forgotten when they take the stage.
“I’m nervous and excited at the same time,” said keyboardist Megan Crouse, a freshman at North Lincoln High School.
by Sarah Grano

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