7. Newsboys – Take Me To Your Leader
“Shine” may have been the Newsboys song that was played the most, but when you took a road trip to go to an Acquire the Fire event, your youth pastor knew he could pop in this bad boy and the whole van would enjoy every track.
6. Third Day – Third Day
Before Third Day became your mom’s favorite band, the group put out this gritty southern rock album that felt like a hip combination of Hootie and the Blowfish and Bob Seger.
5. Kirk Franklin – God’s Property
God’s Property and The Nu Nation Project go hand-in-hand in launching Kirk Franklin’s career into the stratosphere, but for youth groups “Stomp” might as well have been the National Anthem.
4. Audio Adrenaline - Bloom
If dc Talk didn’t exist, Audio Adrenaline would have been the biggest Christian band of the decade. Not only was every track worthy of being a single, it finally allowed you to listen to an Audio Adrenaline album without having to worry about “Big House” coming up in the rotation.
3. Jars of Clay – Jars of Clay
When Jars of Clay crossed over to mainstream and “Flood” would play on MTV after Montell Jordan and right before Alanis Morissette, you knew you were witnessing something amazing. You felt like you were an uppity hipster that had been listening to a popular band long before the crowd fell in love with them.
2. The O.C. Supertones – Supertones Strike Back
Remember back in the simpler times when all you needed was a hypercolor shirt, a stack of POGs, and a 36-piece ska band? I don’t know if the term has ever been used to describe a ska band, but Supertones Strike Back can only be described as epic.
1. dc Talk – Jesus Freak
Seriously, was there any doubt that this would be at the top spot? Jesus Freak changed the culture of Christian music and made it cool. It wasn’t just songs about God, it was stories of struggling with your faith, of finding your identity in your religion, and the line between doing work for God and letting your work praise God.