Irish faith singer Robin Mark will debut his latest album, "Year of Grace," on July 14.
The CD, which was the first to be recorded live in the U.S., was taped in January at Syracuse in upstate New York where 1,500 people crammed into North Syracuse Baptist Church.
Mark, who is from Belfast, is one of the most popular faith singers in the U.S. and "Year of Grace," is bound to be a big hit in the U.S.. given his huge following here.
His American tour this summer is almost a literal A-Z and takes in (among other states) Arizona, Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachussets, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Mark is also the man behind "Days of Elijah," which is one of the most-sung worship songs ever.
Speaking ahead of the CD's release, Mark said that the venue for "Year of Grace," was an inspiration to him.
His home church in Northern Ireland, Christian Fellowship Church, was being renovated so he looked further afield for a different place to record his new CD.
A performance at North Syracuse Baptist last summer inspired him to return.
"I knew intuitively that the sound and passion of the New York concert crowd, enhanced and charged by the wonderful acoustics of the beautiful sanctuary, would have all the ingredients for a great recording," he said.
Also, there was the double coincidence that a nearby county to Syracuse is called Ulster, named after the province of Ireland where, Mark said, "a year-long revival took place in 1859."
"That year, 100,000 people came to Christ and the outpouring dramatically changed the country and that season became known as 'The Year of Grace'. My CD Year of Grace is in part a celebration of what God did on that occasion 150 years ago, but mainly anticipates what He still can do in any nation of the world."
The CD recreates the style of a Belfast revival and combines 12 powerful worship songs with Mark's unique Celtic/folk.
Mark has recorded 13 albums, including the most recent East of the River (2008) and his landmark 1999 recording of Revival in Belfast, which remains on the worship charts a decade after its release. His signature song, “Days of Elijah,” has become one of the most sung worship songs ever.
Robin Mark lives in Belfast, with his wife Jacqueline and three children, Catherine, David and James.
He combines an international ministry in Praise and Worship with the role of Director of Worship at his home church, CFC, in Belfast; partner in acoustics company F.R. Mark and Associates and Lecturer in Acoustics in Belfast's Queens University.
"...I write only when I feel I have something to say. I cannot sit down and write automatically or prolifically, God hasn't given me that gift, unfortunately! But whether it’s in music, song, business, family or other area of service, so long as I am praising Him, that's all that matters."
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