The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 11, 2013

Back again: Popular Christian artist returning to city

Ruth Rice

JOHNSTOWN — Local concerts by Christian artists have become so successful, they have surpassed all expectations.

Popular Christian worship artist Chris Tomlin will bring his Burning Lights Tour to town at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Cambria County War Memorial Arena, 326 Napoleon St., downtown Johnstown.

He will be joined by popular Christian speaker Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta.

This fall tour will be the second leg of a spring tour that sold out arenas across the country, featuring Tomlin, Giglio and special guest singer Kari Jobe.

Tomlin, who is known as one of the most popular Christian worship artists worldwide, first came to Johnstown in 2011.

His return trip is due to the tremendous success the War Memorial has had with Christian artists, said acting General Manager Tom Grenell.

“Tomlin has such a great following,” Grenell said. “It’s a natural to have him back in the market. Tickets are going well, and there’s not a lot of seats left. I wouldn’t wait until the day of the show.”

Grenell said Tomlin is a quality performer well suited to the intimate setting of the War Memorial Arena.

“Christian artists do a fantastic job of packaging themselves together, and he’s no exception,” Grenell said. “I’m thrilled to have a major market show. Customers have welcomed him and others. The rate of reception has exceeded all expectations for a smaller town. Christian artists are coming back because our customers welcome them.”

When Tomlin’s newest CD, “Burning Lights,” released Jan. 8, it claimed the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Christian & Gospel Albums Chart and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

This marks Tomlin’s first trip to the top of the Billboard 200 and is only the fourth time in history that a Christian music album has entered that chart at No. 1.

 Critics have applauded the solid songwriting and stirring melodies of “Burning Lights,” which underscores Tomlin’s efforts of crafting songs for the church that cross cultures and generations.

Popular songs coming out of the Grammy winner’s newest release include “Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies), “God’s Great Dance Floor” and “White Flag.”

In an interview about “Burning Lights” in the magazine Worship Leader, Tomlin said, “I can see myself singing and playing these songs in my church, and that’s what I wanted to do. I want this to be a real gift to the church, and I want people to be able to sing these songs. I think the beauty of it is just really captured in a lot of these songs.”

For the fall tour dates, Giglio, an international speaker and close friend of Tomlin, will return to speak.

Giglio is the author of “The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life” and “I Am Not, But I Know I Am: Welcome to the Story Of God.”

His DVD talks “Indescribable” and “How Great Is Our God” have been viewed by churches and individuals around the world.

Giglio is a founder and speaker for the Passion Movement, which has hosted local campus events at leading universities in the U.S., as well as larger regional and national events.

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at

On the stage

What: Chris Tomlin Burning Lights Tour.

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 19.

Where: Cambria County War Memorial Arena, 326 Napoleon St., downtown Johnstown.

Tickets: $43.85 with fees.

Information: 536-5156 or