Casting Crowns has a holiday album coming out around Thanksgiving. “It’s one of my favorite times of year,” says leader Mark Hall, recalling how a chance encounter gave the band its start 13 years ago. A worship group for a local church youth group, they recorded a CD that a student took off to college, meeting Mark Miller from Sawyer Brown, the country group, who decided he wanted to sign the band. “I remember saying, ‘If I can stay a youth pastor, I’ll do it,’” Hall says. “That’s how we got here.”

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