Christopher Dwayne Tomlin (born May 4, 1972) is an American contemporary Christian music artist, worship leader, and songwriter from Grand Saline, Texas, United States who has sold over 7 million records. He is a former staff member at Austin Stone Community Church and is signed to EMI's sixstepsrecords. Tomlin leads worship at many Passion events. Some of his most well-known songs are "How Great Is Our God", "Good Good Father", "Jesus Messiah", "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)", "Our God", which he co-wrote with Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, and Jonas Myrin, and "Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)". He is currently a worship leader at Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, with Louie Giglio, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, and Brett Younker. He was awarded Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2006, 2007 (along with Artist of the Year), and 2008 GMA Dove Awards, and a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album in 2012. He is one of the members of CompassionArt, a charity founded by Martin Smith of the band Delirious? and Smith's wife, Anna, and is on the board of directors of CURE International, a nonprofit organization that provides medical care to children in the developing world. Tomlin's 2013 album Burning Lights debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, becoming the fourth CCM album in history to do so.
Tomlin was born in Grand Saline, Texas in 1972 to Donna and Connie Tomlin. He has two younger brothers, Ryan and Cory. Tomlin was given his first guitar by his father, Connie, and learned how to play the guitar by playing along with Willie Nelson records. Tomlin wrote his first worship song at age fourteen. After graduating from Grand Saline High School in 1990, he entered college planning to study physical therapy. In the mid-1990s Tomlin was a worship leader at the Dawson McAllister Youth Conferences, as well as at various church camps in Texas. Tomlin attended Tyler Junior College and Texas A&M University. After college, Tomlin and the band developed while working with the Harvest Ministry at The Woodlands United Methodist Church in The Woodlands, Texas in the late 1990s. In 1997, youth speaker Louie Giglio asked if he would be interested in working with the Passion Conferences. Tomlin has been in that movement ever since.
His first nationally released solo project, titled The Noise We Make, was released in 2001, featuring the songs "Forever," "Be Glorified", and "Kindness", each of which made the top 200 in the CCLI 2005 top 500 worship songs. He released the live EP 545 in 2002, and the studio album Not to Us (2002). Although he is a solo artist, Tomlin uses a consistent band lineup. He writes many of his songs with the band members. The band consists of Daniel Carson (electric guitar, backing vocals), Matt Gilder (keyboards, piano], backing vocals), Travis Nunn (drums) and Matthew Melton (bass guitar, backing vocals). Tomlin plays guitar and piano. According to Christian Copyright Licensing International's list of the top 25 worship songs in the US in August 2007, Tomlin held five spots with songs he has either written, co-written or performed: "How Great Is Our God" (No. 1), "Forever" (No. 5), "Holy Is the Lord" (No. 7), "We Fall Down" (No. 12), and "Indescribable" (No. 22) (written by Laura Story). In 2008, Tomlin held 6 spots on 20 The Countdown Magazine's top 20 praise and worship songs: "We Fall Down" (No. 14), "Forever" (No. 10), "Holy is the Lord" (No. 8), "Indescribable" (No. 6), "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" (No. 3), and "How Great is our God" (No. 1).Tomlin has toured with contemporary Christian music artists, such as Delirious? during his first tour, and as a supporting act of Steven Curtis Chapman during his All Things New Tour. Tomlin has headlined several tours, such as the Chris Tomlin Indescribable Tour, which featured worship artist Matt Redman, and speaker Louie Giglio, and headlining the See the Morning Tour. From April to October 2007, Tomlin toured with Louie Giglio and Matt Redman on his "How Great Is Our God" tour. In 2008, Tomlin toured with Passion Conferences on its world tour. In early 2009, he was in the Hello Love tour with Israel Houghton and New Breed. In summer of 2010, he was in the "Hello Tonight" tour with TobyMac. Tomlin has been featured at conferences and music festivals. Among these, he played at Grand Saline's annual Salt Festival in Texas. Hillsong's 2007 conference, and the 2008 CompassionArt International Songwriting retreat, which was dedicated to writing songs whose revenue would support charities serving the poorest of the world's poor. Other prominent songwriters included were Matt Redman, Martin Smith, Stuart Garrard, and Steven Curtis Chapman. In 2009, Tomlin played at the Harvest Crusade at Anaheim Angels Stadium. On June 14, 2007, Tomlin's version of the song "Indescribable" was used as the official wake-up call for Mission Specialist Patrick Forrester on Space Shuttle mission STS-117. In May 2008, Tomlin announced a move from The Austin Stone Community Church, to start a new church with Louie Giglio in Atlanta, Georgia. The Passion City Church held its first service on February 15, 2009, and features Tomlin as one of its worship leaders. In 2009, Tomlin released a Christmas album, Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship. It includes three original Christmas songs and features duets with Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, and Audrey Assad. The album peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 list and at No. 1 for Holiday albums. According to Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI), in 2012 his songs were performed more than 3 million times in churches around the world. His 2013 album Burning Lights debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, only the fourth Christian album ever to open at No. 1. He was also pronounced the most sung songwriter in the world in 2013. Love Ran Red, released in late 2014, features "At the Cross (Love Ran Red)", "Greater", "Waterfall", and a reworking of "Jesus Loves Me". In 2015 he wrapped-up his Love Ran Red tour featuring Tenth Avenue North, as well as Rend Collective. Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship, a live Christmas album released on October 23, 2015, includes original songs and arrangements of traditional carols, performed by Tomlin and friends as well as fellow worship leaders including Lauren Daigle, Kristyn Getty and All Sons & Daughters. It was supported by the Adore Tour, launched in late November to December, with Crowder, and Lauren Daigle.
Tomlin married Lauren Bricken, on November 9, 2010. In May 2011, Tomlin announced that he and Lauren were expecting their first child. He announced on Twitter that the couple's daughter, Ashlyn Alexandra Tomlin, was born on September 22, 2011. The singer took to Twitter once again to introduce the couple's newest addition, a girl named Madison Amore Tomlin, born on October 7, 2014.
Studio albums Inside Your Love (1995) Authentic (1998) Too Much Free Time (1998) with Ross King The Noise We Make (2001) Not to Us (2002) Arriving (2004) See the Morning (2006) Hello Love (2008) Glory in the Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship (2009) And If Our God Is for Us... (2010) Burning Lights (2013) Love Ran Red (2014) Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship (2015) Never Lose Sight (2016)
Throughout his career, Chris Tomlin has been nominated to 32 Dove Awards (6 of them, collaborative efforts) and won 19 of them. *Denotes a collaborative effort or a song contribution to a "Various artists" album. 1 The song was performed by Tomlin, but written and produced by Laura Story. 2 The song was performed by LaRue Howard, but written by Tomlin.
Tomlin was nominated for two 2009 Visionary Award: Male Entertainer of the Year and Song of the Year for "Jesus Messiah".
Chris Tomlin, The Way I Was Made: Words and Music for an Unusual Life, Multnomah, 2004. ISBN 978-1-59052-327-8
Chris Tomlin discography
Official website Article in Time Magazine