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At the beginning of this year, as the West Coast-based worship collective Jesus Culture released their latest, Let It Echo (buy), CCM Magazine got the chance to get to know more about their ministry from the inside. Including roles within their formed label Jesus Culture Music and the church plant Jesus Culture Sacramento, Pastor Banning Leibscher, Kim Walker-Smith, Bryan and Katie Torwalt, and Chris Quilala shared what it’s been like to go from fronting youth conferences to now leading an entire community year-round.

Little did we know at that time, “Father Christopher,” as Bryan and Katie Torwalt affectionately know and call their worship leader, was working on a slew of new material to call all his own. We caught up with Chris Quilala on the release day of his very first solo album, Split The Sky (buy), to dig a little deeper into what went into the beginnings of this project.

CCM Magazine: It seems effortless in the way you communicate who God is and what He has done, how does this come so easy for you and your songwriting?
Chris Quilala:
Well, first of all, thank you so much for that, that means a lot. I encountered God during worship when I was really young and I grew up in the church. But I remember the day that my life was changed forever… I remember where I was standing in this room at this youth camp. It may have even been the first time I lifted my hands and I felt God’s presence so strongly.

Just that God would show up when we worshiped Him—we, obviously, pouring out our love for Him, but in turn, He reveals himself to us—a lot of my songwriting comes from that place, that first love. Scripture talks about, “We love Him because He first loved us.” I hope that, whatever I do in life—whether it’s song writing or loving my kids—that everything comes from that revelation. I do, I remember encountering God’s love and it changed my life forever.

I remember my dad at that same youth camp encountering God’s love and it changed his life forever, too. For me, that’s just how I approach songwriting—it’s from that place, that revelation of His love and what He’s done for us.

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About The Author

Kevin Sparkman
Managing Editor

After both on-stage and front-office experience in the Christian recording industry, (including co-founding Exit 3 Entertainment, Inc. and General Manager of hip-hop label Beatmart Recordings), Sparkman returned to Salem in 2014 from a Dir. of Communications position in the United Methodist Church. He became the Managing Editor of CCM Magazine in January 2015.