Bio

My Summary – The Short Bio

My name is Drew Cline. I’m a passionate worshipper of Jesus, Husband of nearly 20 years to my beautiful wife Lori, Father of 2 beautiful girls, Daisy and Jovie. I’m an artist, a pastor, a songwriter, producer and writer. I’ve been serving the church for over 20 years on staff and as a guest artist. I’ve led worship and taught at worship conferences in such great churches as Willow Creek, Saddleback, and others. I was the lead singer for NewSong in 2006 and 2007, we were nominated for a Dove award with “The Christmas Hope” and then I released my own project called “Way Of Life” in 2007, breaking the AC top 40. I’m now working as the Creative Catalyst and Worship Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, AR (my hometown). I worked for over 3 years to finish my new project called “I Am Becoming” It releases May 20!! I’m excited that this new project is a partnership between myself, the International Mission Board, Baptist Global Response, Global Hunger Relief, Hidden Creek, Lifeword, and Safe Harbor. Every “I Am Becoming” CD sold here on my site will give $5 to one of these amazing organizations for the work of ministry and mission to those who need it most.

My Story – The Long Bio (If you’ve got the time)

Though Drew Cline’s creative road has stretched over two decades, it’s been a continuously refining journey that’s sought equilibrium between unwavering perseverance and wholehearted surrender with the merger of artistic assurance and a lifestyle of praise. It’s a finely tuned spiritual and musical dichotomy that’s finally found a home in the singer/songwriter/worship leader’s projects “I Am Becoming” and “Way of Life”, which not only seek to inspire dreamers, but to remind them to find identity in Christ above all else.

“After making a ton of mistakes in high school and doing whatever it took to try and gain everyone’s acceptance, I finally realized that God was my only hope, and in a moment, He changed my heart and gave me real life,” asserts the tunesmith regarding the launch of his long and winding road. “It was Steven Curtis Chapman’s song ‘Waiting For Lightning’ that got me to search my heart and helped me to realize I needed to get serious about my relationship with Christ. From that point on, I knew I wanted to write and record songs that would have that kind of profound impact on people the way Steven’s songs had impacted me.”

And that’s exactly what the newly recommitted Cline did, starting with music business studies at Nashville’s Belmont University, his graduation into student ministry and a move to Houston as a member of The Sound. He recorded two projects with the group in the mid-90s (and produced three additional albums for the act) while logging over 1,000 concerts on the road. Come 1999, Cline assembled the vocal trio As Is, which won the prestigious Gospel Music Association’s Academy of Gospel Music Arts International Spotlight competition in Estes Park, Colorado a year later. The exposure led to shows with Margaret Becker, Fernando Ortega and Jennifer Knapp and a feature in GMA Today Magazine.

“After we won that competition, we had a few record labels interested and it looked like we would sign a deal,” he says of the initially exciting but gradually discouraging time. “I thought my life finally looked like it was supposed to, but those deals never worked out and I got mad at God. Singing had been my focus of significance for so long and I took a lot of pride in that, but I needed to realize who I was in Christ and find significance in who I was in Him.”

As the decade turned, he would slowly but surely learn that very lesson, starting when his wife took a job at Word Records in Nashville and Cline returned to church ministry as a worship pastor in Franklin, Tennessee. Besides learning to take the focus off himself and put it back onto leading a congregation in praise, moving to Music City also expanded his network of industry contacts.

One of his first connections came in the form of Grammy Award winning producer Phil Naish, who just so happened to work with Point Of Grace, Jaci Velasquez and Wes King, plus Chapman and that aforementioned song that helped turn Cline’s life around. The two became close friends and often worked together on sessions, which also led to studio time with fellow producers of prominence Michael Omartian, Brown Bannister, Tom Hemby, Chris Harris, Bernie Herms, David Hamilton and many more. The results included CD and concert work with the illustrious likes of Chapman, MercyMe, Third Day, Jeremy Camp, Hawk Nelson, Sanctus Real, Dolly Parton, Sandi Patty, Kathy Troccoli, Don Moen, Todd Agnew, Rachael Lampa, Mark Schultz, Sheila Walsh and the Gaither Vocal Band, amongst countless others.

Assisting other artists, coupled with his reclaimed church calling, slowly but surely got Cline even closer to the mark of finding identity in faith rather than fame. Add in extra ammunition from several impressive commercial projects (NBC’s “The Today Show,” Country Music Television, Kohl’s, Chevrolet, Ford and Yamaha) and the hopeful began to regain his goals of making original music.

“By the summer of 2004, Phil and I began work on new material and even shopped it around in what I call the ‘Nashville shuffle,’” he recalls of the eye opening time. “It was very frustrating and some of those old feelings started creeping back in, but God taught me so much about who I was that instead of letting it beat me down, the Lord allowed it to build me up.”

Around this time, Drew’s wife Lori (who had since left her marketing position at Word) began a promotions company in 2005, which inspired Drew to take on the record making process himself, joining forces with Naish via Undone Recordings (which landed under Infinity Music Distribution less than a year later). And despite all the false starts and snags along the way, it’s become the perfect match for the highly anticipated Way of Life, which also features special guests Russ Taff and Christy Nockels (of Watermark and Passion fame).

“First of all, Way Of Life is clearly a worship project with some of the songs having a congregational appeal and others that are more radio friendly,” Cline relates, citing his dual footing on the airwaves and invitations at mega churches such as Chicago’s Willow Creek, California’s Saddleback and Charles Stanley’s First Baptist in Atlanta. “I really love strong production and this disc is really tight.”

“Drew is a powerhouse singer,” adds Naish. “That’s a quality you don’t always hear on worship albums since the focus is more on the overall experience. His voice is distinctive and emotional. Since becoming friends with Drew, I’ve realized his heart for God is even stronger than his voice. He has all the gifts that make him an incredible servant, minister and artist.”

More than just the crisp production or truly resplendent vocal presentations, the clear cut message is the true heart of this project. Though the typical definition of “worship” is either used as a physical church location or state of being, Cline hopes to communicate the concept as the title so appropriately showcases – a Way of Life.

“It really starts for me back as teenager when I learned to live two separate lives- bottom line is that I was a total fake,” he continues. “I knew what it took to be somebody involved in worship – I was a leader of a youth group yet was living for myself the rest of the week- but God continued working in me and taught me that I was never fooling Him. As a worship pastor and recording artist, I’ve tried to communicate to people that it’s much more than just singing. It has to be an overflow into all areas of life, not just worshipping for one hour of one day. It’s about trying to grow people in their walk with Christ and letting our actions back up who we are in our hearts.”

A year before Cline’s industry debut was released, he was asked to be the lead singer for CCM veteran act NewSong. While in the group, Cline recorded their dove-award nominated project “The Christmas Hope” as well as producing two of the tracks on that record. While on the road with NewSong, Cline prepared for the “Way Of Life” solo release. That project was released to critical acclaim and found it’s way into the AC Top 40 with the radio single “I Will”. Cline worked with the International Mission Board to produce music videos for “Here Am I, Send Me” and “To The Ends Of The Earth”, filmed on location in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Montevideo, Uruguay, and Moscow, Russia. “Here Am I, Send Me” won a Telly award for excellence in music video production.

After fulfilling the dream of playing concerts with NewSong for 15,000 people or more nightly, in the largest tour in Christian music, Drew felt like God was calling him back to the church and took a position at Journey Church in Franklin, TN as the Creative Arts Pastor (Journey and Ecclesia, the church Drew left as the worship pastor to join NewSong had merged while he was on the road with NewSong). Drew spent 3 years at Journey serving artists and pastoring the arts and worship ministry there.

While at Journey Drew produced a 4 song project giveaway that featured his assistant and fellow worship leader Leslie Jordan (All Sons And Daughters) and David Leonard.  Shortly after that project was finished they signed a recording contract with Integrity Music.  Drew left Journey to plant a small organic church in Franklin called ROOTS church where the focus was more on making disciples than making records and that has been his mission ever since. ROOTS church met for about two and half years but looked more like a small family of believers from the book of Acts than it did a modern church plant.  While supporting his family and the church Cline traveled around the country as a guest worship leader as well as working in Nashville as a highly sought-after session singer.  One of the churches he served was Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, AR (Cline’s home town).  As Drew would  lead, he began to feel at home and built relationships with other worship leaders and staff. “I hadn’t exercised those “worship leading muscles” much for a couple of years, focusing more on teaching every Sunday at ROOTS and as I began to lead again, I realized just how much I missed leading worship”.  Fellowship created a position in November of 2012 of Creative Catalyst and Worship Pastor and offered Cline the job. “I get to help lead out on a lot of our creative projects and branding as well as lead worship quite a bit.  We’re writing a ton of new music and developing a recording studio and plan to release new music to the big “C” church soon! I love producing and developing new music and young artists/worship leaders and I absolutely love Fellowship. It doesn’t hurt that this is my home town either! We finally have family around for Sunday lunches and free babysitting!!”

In 2010, shortly after leaving Journey, Cline entered into a new recording process. It took over three and a half years to complete it but the outcome has been worth the wait. His new studio recording called “I Am Becoming” releases May 20th, 2014 and features some of his best writing and vocal performances.  Drew wrote all the songs on the record, (three of which are co-writes) as well as full production credit. “My desire for this project was that it would be a blessing to as many people as possible and that in some way it would raise money for different mission organizations I support and believe in!” Partnering with Cline on “I Am Becoming” are such great organizations as the International Mission Board, Baptist Global Response, Global Hunger Relief, Hidden Creek, Lifeword Broadcast Ministries, and Safe Harbor. Each of these organizations will promote the project and in turn receive $5 from each CD sold through their promotion for their respective initiatives. The project will also be offered on ITunes and other digital music outlets worldwide.

Cline partnered with IMB and BGR to record several video projects with Cline as the spokesperson and in the process recorded footage for the music video of “Let It Be Me”.  The videos were filmed in Haiti and India and will be used as a special promotion for Global Hunger Relief and other promotions of these organizations.  ”Hands and Feet” is another song from “I Am Becoming” that has been chosen by the IMB for a music video featuring the crisis in Syria and will be released later in the summer of 2014.