Providence. It's a recurring theme in the life of three-time GMA Canada Covenant Award-nominated singer/songwriter and worship leader Andrew Marcus. With five recordings to his credit, he has toured throughout Canada and Europe, playing alongside such artists as MercyMe, Leeland and Phil Wickham - remarkable for a man who recorded his first album only eight months after learning to play guitar and sing.
"Looking back at my life so far, I see how amazing God is and how His Hand was guiding me every step of my journey," Andrew says. This provision is particularly evident on his latest recording, Constant. Executive produced by Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe) and produced by Scott Cash (WOW Worship, Dan Bremnes), the seven-song set, all written or co-penned by Andrew, is his most pop-oriented project yet-and most personal, with contributions from trusted mentors and friends.
Legendary worship leader Paul Baloche co-wrote the project's 2015 Covenant Award-nominated track, "You Are With Me," and he's featured on "Good To Me," which he also co-penned along with Andrew, Ed, Scott and Nevin Sawler. An anthemic affirmation of God's kindness, its memorable melody is primed for congregational response. "I remember looking up at Scott when I was tracking vocals for 'Good To Me,'" recalls Andrew. "I couldn't see his face but he was sitting with his back towards me, both hands raised. I've never experienced that in the studio before. There were so many moments during the recording process when we were all almost in tears, overwhelmed as we worshiped with these songs."
The title-cut is yet another demonstration of God's provision. "Constant" was the last track written and recorded for the project, and it's a song Andrew wasn't even sure would come to fruition.
"I was sitting in my studio in Canada trying to come up with a new song," he says. "I was starting to get frustrated; nothing was coming, I was trying to force it. I found myself opening my Bible not to meet with the Lord, but to write a song. It was horrible." But shortly after arriving in Nashville to finish the album, "Constant" was birthed-a collaborative effort from Andrew, Leeland Mooring, Matt Armstrong and Scott Cash.
"The song is a testimony in and of itself," explains Andrew of the title-cut, which features Leeland. "The lyrics say, 'Every season You are constant Lord, You are sovereign, You are in control.' These words are a testimony to the song, to the project, and really to my life. My hope and my trust are hidden in God's love."
"Constant" is also a reminder of Andrew's prodigal path-his early mistakes and failures-and a God who loved him enough to welcome him back.
Raised in a Christian home, Andrew walked away from his faith as a teenager, unable to grasp a relationship with Christ as little more than a family trait he lacked. "I realized quite quickly that being a Christian wasn't in my family genes," he recalls. "A relationship with Jesus Christ didn't come from a particular gene combination that I got from my mom or my dad because they were saved."
Floundering spiritually and without direction, Andrew unexplainably found himself headed for church one Sunday-the very place he avoided as a teenager. "I stood in the corner of the balcony and the Lord met me there in such a powerful way," he remembers. "Towards the end of the sermon the pastor said, 'I want you to think of all your talents and offer them up to the Lord.' Before I knew it, my hands were raised and I said, 'Lord, use me in music.' I instantly put my hands down in confusion. At the time, I didn't play a single instrument and had never sung before. In fact, I didn't even like church music."
A few days later he received an email from a virtual stranger offering to give him guitar lessons. "What really shocked me was at the end of his message he said, 'I don't teach for the money, I only teach people who want to use their talents to glorify God.' I couldn't believe it! I quickly realized how real and how powerful the God I'd been avoiding was. I left all the distractions of the enemy and decided to give the Lord my entire life. When I surrendered everything to God,
He overwhelmed me with opportunity to learn and grow in this new passion for worshiping Him through music."
Today, Andrew has come full circle. He serves as pastor of worship and creative arts at Coquitlam Alliance Church in British Columbia, where he oversees a rapidly growing worship team of more than 60 participants. It's a point of grounding for him as well, an important home base when he's not recording or on the road.
A familiar name in Canada's Christian music scene since his 2007 debut, Salvation and Glory, Constant now finds Andrew poised to reach a broader audience throughout North America, and it's an opportunity he humbly embraces.
"My desire is that these songs bless and fuel churches and listeners everywhere with a passion and hunger for being in an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ," Andrew says. "I pray these songs encourage and remind us that God is constant in every season, trustworthy through every circumstance, and faithful and sovereign in every trial."
From his most significant moments-surrendering to Christ and answering the call to music ministry-to the many meaningful mileposts since, the path of Andrew Marcus' life is no accident. Over and over, it's quite clear God's providence has been his Constant theme.