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Andrew Peterson in Concert| Apex, NC

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Salem Baptist Church - Multipurpose Room

1821 North Salem Street

Apex, NC 27523

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Andrew Peterson in Concert

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Salem Baptist Church is proud to bring Andrew Peterson to Apex. April 10, 2020 will be a night to remember as Andrew Peterson shares in his "Resurrection Letters Tour".

Singer/songwriter/novelist Andrew Peterson believes in the power of story in the human experience. It’s this belief that fuels the motivation behind his 20-year passion project, Behold the Lamb of God, a recorded concept album and live concert event that tells the “true tall tale” of the coming of Christ.

Growing up an avid reader, Andrew has long been a lover of story and music as a means to awaken us to the beauty of life through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Unlike most of my friends, I didn’t want a truck or a job or a scholarship; I wanted a horse and a quest and a buried treasure.” As Andrew tells it, “Music was the call to adventure.”

But it was 1980s concept albums that inspired Andrew to use music to tell a story over a series of songs — to interweave themes and variations into a tapestry that told a larger story, but not one that was simply handed over to the listener. “Listening to the albums again and again was like trying to solve a puzzle ... the story was just vague enough to keep me listening, hunting for clues,” Andrew recalls.

All those influences — the church, fantasy novels, the hair metal records — were “bubbling in the cauldron,” as Andrew puts it. Waiting for more ingredients that would one day solve a puzzle of his own: What had God called him to do?

More clues were discovered when Andrew encountered the music of Rich Mullins at age 19. This experience led him to ultimately ask the question, “God, will you let me sing about you, too?” And with that question, another ingredient was added to the pot.

Bible college provided a new perspective for the young artist. Having grown up in the church, with a Sunday School familiarity with the Bible, he began to realize the stories he was always told were actually true. “That was huge for me.” Andrew remembers, “Rich always talked about God’s grace, that God loved me and liked me, too. I began to realize the Bible was one big unified story and Jesus was the center of the whole thing. I remember thinking, wait, Jesus is a part of the Old Testament? I figured if I didn’t know, lots of other people probably didn’t know either.”

It wasn’t until Andrew sat in the wooden pews of the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee that the final ingredient was added to the stewing pot. Andrew drove from Florida to see Rich Mullins play that night, and snuck backstage to meet him. Two years later, Mullins would be killed in a car accident and Andrew and his wife Jamie would be moving to Nashville. Soon, Andrew was signed with a record label, launching his career as a singer-songwriter. And still, the itch to answer the question he’d been asking since age 19 was ever-present.

It was a Christmas concert attended with a friend that brought all the pieces of the puzzle together and gave way to the birth of Behold the Lamb of God. “When you really look at it, there’s a narrative flow to the Bible. It’s God telling us a story. That’s the heart of Behold the Lamb of God. I left that concert saying, what if we wrote a collection of Christmas songs that told the full story of Jesus? What if we did a show about it and made it sound like Nashville, like the music we love?’”

“What if we wrote a collection of Christmas songs that told the full story of Jesus? What if we did a show about it and made it sound like Nashville, like the music we love?”

Peterson quickly got to work assembling trusted friends in his Nashville music community to put the show together. Before all the songs were even written, tour dates were booked. After a shaky but successful first tour, it became a tradition. Each year the band took the show on the road in December. Andrew recalls that it felt like “my first love bringing flowers to me.” By the fourth year the song cycle was complete and the time came to record it. This is where Andrew’s fantasy novel/hair metal past crept back into his artistic work.

“It wasn’t until we were in the studio late one night that the remnant all those concept albums from high school finally bubbled to the surface with the final track of the record. We found a way to tie all the album’s lyrics together into one song that ends with an explosive reprise of ‘Sing out with joy for the brave little boy who was God but he made himself nothing.’” It was then that Behold the Lamb of God was complete, laced with all the elements of his favorite songs and novels--but this time, the stories were true. It became clear to Andrew that in many ways, this record and tour was God’s answer to his lifelong question, “Will you let me sing about you?”

Behold the Lamb of God was always a collective effort.

In the project’s 20th year, Peterson and his community of musicians went back into the studio to re-record the original album. After two decades of singing the same songs, artistic evolution had taken its course. “Behold the Lamb of God was always a collective effort,” Peterson says. “The community of artists has grown and changed since we started. We wanted to go in and fine-tune some of the songs to sound like what we do live.” In “two wonderful days,” as Andrew called them, the record was re-made. Over 30 musicians joined together to re-record the beloved album, with a score of friends listening along in the control room.

Behold the Lamb of God is a poignant representation of the gospel story the project itself portrays – many people with different gifts and talents coming together to tell the true story of Jesus. The tour has become a tradition for many families, especially those in Nashville who anticipate driving downtown to sing along at the perennially sold out Ryman Auditorium shows each December. “Every year when we play The Ryman, there’s something emotional and electric about looking out into the crowd and seeing so many familiar faces.” For the 20th anniversary tour, Behold the Lamb of God will adopt the Nashville format, with each night of the tour featuring special guests and a Ryman stage-sized band.

In the midst of this 20-year musical celebration, Andrew’s latest book, the creative memoir Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling and the Mystery of Making, was released through B&H Publishing in October 2019. Already known as an award-winning fiction author for his Wingfeather series and a contributor for the Rabbit Room, his creative community, Andrew began Adorning the Dark with an intimate approach to writing.

“I went back to one of my journals from a time when I was working on songs for a record. Those journal entries, when I wrote them, were just for me, my darkest and deepest thoughts, just to make myself write something down. But I went back to it and thought, would this vulnerable look into the creative process be helpful for others? This book is me letting people look under the hood of my creative process, at how I work out my own insecurities and fears in order to create.”

After all these years of writing music and telling stories it would be easy for Andrew to focus on what comes next. But looking back has only confirmed he’s exactly where he should be.

“I wouldn’t change anything about the way my life has led me to this moment. When I was 19 years old, I had a real encounter with God. I asked him, ‘Will you let me sing about you and write about you and tell your story as best as I can?’ That’s the question I still ask, and I think that’s what he’s called me to do.”

It’s this calling that led to a project that was once a glimmer of an idea, but is now 20 years old and still boldly telling the story of the God who came to save his creation.

“Sometimes you move to Nashville with no money in the bank. Sometimes you book the tour before the songs are written. All you really have is your willingness to fail, coupled with the mountain of evidence that the Maker has never left or forsaken you.”

“All you really have is your willingness to fail, coupled with the mountain of evidence that the Maker has never left or forsaken you.”

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Salem Baptist Church - Multipurpose Room

1821 North Salem Street

Apex, NC 27523

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