Grace Midtown formed as a couple hundred people came together in the heart of downtown Atlanta in 2009 to establish a next generation-kind of church that hearkened back to something ancient, New Testament even. HOUSEFIRES organically formed out of this movement in 2014 and is perhaps best-known for their song from HOUSEFIRES II, "Good, Good Father," a modern classic anthem popularized by Chris Tomlin that has spread like wildfire worldwide.
"We felt like God wanted a fresh expression of church," Grace Midtown pastor Matt Reynolds says of the journey. "Something that required faith and risk in partnership with God... Something so simple you could tell that God was in it or not—no lights, smoke or lasers to hide what wasn't there."
"People are skeptical of the organized church," continues Reynolds, "but people really want to connect with God, a community, and to be part of something Spirit-led."
Theologically astute, lyrically refined, intimate and joyful, HOUSEFIRES III reflects the near-intangible warmth of live worship unencumbered by any agenda other than to create space for the Spirit of God to move.
"It's less about our songs and more about what God has been speaking to us as a community, as a whole," says HOUSEFIRES' Tony Brown, who co-wrote "Good, Good Father" with Grace Midtown worship pastor and HOUSFIRES worship leader Pat Barrett. "It has to be more deconstructed, a lot more raw, and a lot more Spirit led."
"Naturally, we tend to write about God and the worship of God in ways that are applicable to normal life," adds Kirby Kaple, who serves as worship leader, songwriter and graphic designer for Grace Midtown. "It's not too spiritualized, not hard to understand. In some aspects, the way you'd have a normal conversation sitting across the table or in a living room."
A perfect example of the collaborative, communally expressive nature of HOUSEFIRES III is the pensive ballad "Build My Life," while "Filled With Your Glory" is a passionate call to worship, "On and On" (written by Barrett and Matt Redman) is about what Scripture says about God's love and "Yes and Amen" is an impassioned anthem that declares the character of God. (Both "Build My Life" and "Yes and Amen" are available now as an instant downloads with iTunes preorder.)
"He's the fulfillment of every dream in our hearts," says House church pastor Nate Moore, who leads "Yes and Amen" on the recording. "The beginning and end of every day, we rest in His faithfulness that He does fulfill his promises, everything He says is true. This is our confidence that He is who He says He is."
Closing the album with the benediction, "This Is Where I Belong," HOUSEFIRES collectively share, "Our hope is that these songs would spark fires that burn bright in ordinary houses all over the world."
Taking their new songs and worship favorites on tour, HOUSEFIRES will be featured on the major market Outcry Tour beginning Aug. 10 in Jacksonville, FL. The tour also features Hillsong Worship, Kari Jobe, Rend Collective, Elevation Worship and more.
As momentum has built from its 2014 debut, HOUSEFIRES' raw transparency continues to draw worshipers and yet-to-be worshipers alike into the sacred space. For all the latest HOUSEFIRES news and tour information, go to www.housefires.org, Facebook.com, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.