John Mark McMillan bringing a little church to Rhythm & Brews

John Mark McMillan bringing a little church to Rhythm & Brews

April 6th, 2012 by Barry Courter in Chattnow Music

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

What: John Mark McMillan.

When: 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Where: Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.

Admission: $12.

Phone: 267-4644.

Singer/songwriter John Mark McMillan is as comfortable performing in front of a congregation as he is performing before a nightclub audience.

Best known perhaps for his song "How He Loves," McMillan will perform at Rhythm & Brews on Wednesday.

"We do a bunch of clubs," he said, "but we also sing in churches. I grew up playing in church, so I'm comfortable there. I like the stories and the religious imagery, and I write a lot of songs in that vein.

"Stylistically, our music is [more typical of] a club environment."

"How He Loves" was written after a friend died in car accident. McMillan has called it "a celebration of a God who would want to hang with us ... despite who we are."

It was not an instant hit, but about a year after its release, it took off and can now be heard on Christian radio and in church services around the country. It's also been covered by such artists as David Crowder, Kim Walker, Todd Agnew and Kari Jobe.

Seeing other people sing such a personal song is a bit weird for him, he said, but kind of "neat" also.

"I'm not overly intentional about the things I write," he said.

"I didn't write it with the thought in mind, but I think back there somewhere I felt other people could sing it."