By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
LAUREL, Md.—A local Christian band with ties to the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and First Church, Laurel, played its first national tour this summer.
LifeBlood, a hard rock/metal Christian band from Laurel, Md., opened for Spoken, a Christian rock band from Fayetteville, Ark., in what was dubbed “The Lion Tamer Tour.”
LifeBlood, with front man Jeremy Ephraim, who serves as a graphic designer for the convention, has played for many BCM/D events, including the annual meeting of the convention in 2007.
The band, much loved by students throughout the multi-state convention, will perform a concert at the Nov. 5-6 “Uncharted: Crazy Love” youth evangelism conference at Ogletown Church in Wilmington, Del.
LifeBlood is comprised of Ephraim, who sings vocals and plays guitar; Daniel Pearson, husband of Misty Pearson who works with the BCM/D’s church multiplication team, who plays guitar; Jeff Grove, who plays bass; and Taylor Herring, who plays drums and sings vocals.
Though the band, who originally came together in 2001 under the name Soul Fire, has played many local venues, including churches and coffee houses, their May and June tour was their first national tour.
Ephraim, now 31, joined his youth group band at his then-youth pastor Ralph Batykefer’s invitation. He played keyboard and later picked up the guitar.
“From there, God pulled on my heart, and I knew this is what God wanted me to do,” he shared.
Over time, Ephraim gradually grew a new Christian band, transitioning it from a combination of rock and rap musicians into a hard rock/metal band. With the new style also came a new identity: LifeBlood.
The LifeBlood rockers say that bringing the life-changing power of the blood of Jesus Christ to the world is what they are all about—and is what their band name is all about.
“As the blood that courses through our veins brings life to our bodies, Jesus must be the course of our hearts that brings life to our souls. By His blood he has given us life,” the band acknowledged in their biography.
In 2003, LifeBlood released an independent, three-song demo and have been steadily moving forward since. They released their first full-length, independent album, “Can U Hear Me?” in May of 2006, and in May of 2008 released their single, “A Shot Heard around the World,” recorded and produced by CR Pendleton at Pendlwood Studios in Columbus, Ohio.
Their EP, also recorded at Pendlwood Studios, “The Storm Is Coming,” came out in the fall of 2009.
Their latest project, a full-length album entitled, “Names on a Heart,” released this past spring. The title track depicts the story of Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane, where He confronted the weight of the world … “not for one person, but for everybody,” Ephraim explained. “He had everyone’s name on His heart.”
Noting that the band’s songs’ lyrics also reflect the struggles that young people face, Ephraim said he hoped that the songs encourage their listeners to stay on fire and to stay focused on God, even when they fall.
“It has to be a choice everyday,” he stressed, noting that many of the songs have arisen out of the band’s personal life experiences.
“Goodbye for Now” chronicles the hope that God gives believers in the face of unexpectedly losing someone close. The song is a tribute to bass guitarist Jeff Grove’s twin brother Jay, who was killed in a car accident in July 2006.
“For a believer, death is not final, but is just ‘goodbye for now’ because we know that we will all be reunited in heaven,” Ephraim explained, noting that the band members strive to be examples of their faith as they live and share their music.
As their music resounds in ever-widening circles, the group hopes to share the Gospel with as many people as they can. And now with experience in their first national tour, traveling from New Mexico to Oklahoma and back to the East Coast again, LifeBlood believes that God has a big plan for their ministry.
Even though it has been hard to juggle the ministry with their full-time jobs, each member has committed to following Christ, wherever He leads them.
Want to join in the journey? Join LifeBlood’s official Fan Group on Facebook or visit online at www.myspace.com/lifebloodband to check out their latest show schedule, get updates, and show your support to their ministry. To contact the band directly, email them at [email protected].