CrossRoad is a 4-piece Christian rock band based in Boksburg, South Africa. Originally the evening worship team at Trinity Community Church in Sunward Park, they felt God’s call to go out and spread His love through their music.
Since 2010 CrossRoad has been spending Sunday after Sunday leading worship and ministering at different churches. “It’s a true blessing,” says keyboardist and singer Luke Powell. “We learn so much from each church, from each congregation. God has done amazing things, so much more than we could have imagined.”
The band’s old school rock sound began with lead guitarist Richard Pratt’s version of Rock of Ages. He explains, “I was trying to find a way to liven up the old hymn. But with a six-line verse I couldn’t figure it out. And then it hit me… 12 bar blues!” This version of the song had become a favourite at each church, and was the title track of the first album, recorded in 2011.
A second album A New Beginning followed in 2012, and the band continued to go from strength to strength. In early 2013, original drummer Jonathan Digby left the group and was replaced by Kevin Hill, who has been an integral part of the set up ever since.
The band’s third album, Walking With The King, was released in September 2014, and features songs written by Luke and Richard. The only cover on the album is “Hammer No More”, the story of the soldier who drove the nails into Jesus’s hands. Written by Doug Ray and originally performed by American band Chronos, this song has had a deep impact on CrossRoad. “We’ve played ‘Hammer No More’ at every Good Friday service we’ve ever lead, and every time it knocks people over,” Luke says. “We always get people coming up to us saying how touched they were by that song. And so we were so excited to record it for the this album.”
2015 saw the release of a Christmas album, Born in Bethlehem, which instantly became a fan favourite. The band put a rock and roll twist on some of the songs and included some trademark ballads. Only two original songs are on this one – “Isaiah 9:6”, Richard’s take on the Old Testament prophecy about Jesus’ birth, and the title track “Born in Bethlehem”, Luke’s retelling of the Christmas story.
In 2017 the band travelled to America to minister at churches in Missouri. After getting in touch with Doug Ray to sort out royalties for the cover of his song “Hammer No More”, Doug invited them to spend a few weeks in Springfield, Missouri to share their music.
The band’s latest release, There’s a Light, came out in January 2018, and is set to be their most powerful and popular album so far. The album covers a variety of genres – including the usual hard rock, a bit of their trademark blues, and some powerful ballads (with a choir joining in on the title song). Most importantly, these songs tell the story of Jesus, and encourage listeners to turn away from the darkness, towards the Light of Life.
“I think for the first time we had a focus on people being saved,” comments Luke. “We want listeners to be passionate about Jesus, to give Him their every breath. And so the new songs aren’t just about knowing you are loved by Him – but knowing that denying yourself and following Him is the only way to lasting joy.”
CrossRoad’s 2018 schedule is full up as they travel to churches around the country on Sunday mornings. “We’ll keep doing it as long as we can” says Luke. “God is in control, and as long as we can share the gospel through our music, we will.”