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 theyâ€™re definitely dedicated to the music.
The group recently released their first album, â€œSet Me Free,â€ which can be bought at My Fatherâ€™s Business in Cherryville. The groupâ€™s songs can be heard on radio stations WCSL 1590 in Cherryville and WLON 1050 in Lincolnton.
â€œItâ€™s really cool,â€ said singer and guitarist Zack Poston, a junior at Cherryville High School. â€œItâ€™s always been a dream to be on the radio.â€
It wasnâ€™t an overnight accomplishment. The band, which was formed years ago, has seen members come and go. It wasnâ€™t until recently they started composing their own music and making serious plans.
â€œIf you could hear us a few years ago, you would have thought it was garbage,â€ said drummer Andrew Whitson, a senior at South Point High School.
The group is part of Xtreme TEAM Ministry, a â€œthrilling and exciting adventures ministryâ€ 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. Itâ€™s current incarnation, however, has only been around a couple of years.
The groupâ€™s original sound can be hard to describe.
â€œItâ€™s kind of a mix between Billy Joel and Guns and Roses, but itâ€™s gospel,â€ said Ed Bowman.
Song writing is a collaborative effort for the group. Inspiration comes from a variety of places, including ex-girlfriends, but thereâ€™s always the same focus â€“ spirituality.
Every member of the group says God called them to join. As for the future, â€œWeâ€™ll just see where God leads us,â€ said Poston.
While Christianity is at the heart of the group, that doesnâ€™t mean thereâ€™s never conflict. They are teenagers after all, and sometimes the air is so tense you could â€œcut it with a butter knife.â€
â€œThereâ€™s drama, but thereâ€™s not as much as you would get in a regular youth group,â€ said singer Mercedes Rudisill, a junior at East Lincoln High School.
The group tries to deal with any conflicts that arise.
â€œPrayer is the best way,â€ said bass guitarist Robby Bumgarner, a junior at Cherryville High School.
And despite the occasional spat, all is forgotten when they take the stage.
â€œIâ€™m nervous and excited at the same time,â€ said keyboardist Megan Crouse, a freshman at North Lincoln High School.
by Sarah Grano