Christian singer/songwriter Brian Allen, whose single "Greater Is Your Name" recently hit No 1. on the Christian Radio Chart, announces the release of his new EP titled "Magnificent." Allen is the founder of More Than Conquerors Ministries, which was spawned by his personal story involving addiction, imprisonment and salvation.
Q: Brian, thanks for your time. Let's start with yourself, tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in a Christian home where my dad was a pastor for 40yrs. However, I did not live a Christian life. I was a drug addict and choose the ways of the world for a long time. I got saved in prison while serving a 4 1/2 sentence for trafficking drugs from California to North Carolina. I learned how to sing and play guitar in prison. After my release I started a ministry called More Than Conquerors. I sing original songs, lead worship events, give my testimony and preach. God has used this ministry to touch many lives; we are seeing about 20 people saved a month. Three of my songs have topped the independent contemporary Christian radio charts (Greater Is Your Name) and (Your Love) went to #1 on the charts and (Not On My Own) went to #2. God is using my music in a mighty way to spread the gospel. We are now booked 4 months in advance, from men's conferences to youth rallies to jails and prisons. I married a wonderful Christian woman and we just had our first child. Winning her family over was a huge challenge due to my past, but they all love and prayerfully support me now. Upon my release from prison I finished a Bachelor of Bible Theology degree from Lancaster Bible College and became a full time pastor. I just resigned to step out and do my More Than Conquerors Ministry full time. There is a whole lot more to my story but I just wanted to give you the highlights. All I want to do is reach lost people, help broken families and tell the world about Jesus.
Q: Being the son of a pastor, has that prepared you for your role as a worship leader?
Yes and No. I was out of church and not saved for many years. I didn't play or sing when I was a kid either. I learned how to play the guitar and sing while in prison. I actually lead my first worship service in prison. In prison is also where I started writing Christian music. My father being a pastor helped me when I got out of prison to learn about church function and leadership. I try to lead worship in my own unique way and that way is always evolving. Since I was not taught how to be a worship leader or how to even play worship music, I feel we are doing things that are brand new to Christian music and worship leading.
Q: You are the founder of MORE THAN CONQUERORS Ministries, what's this ministry about?
Yes. I came up with the idea for MTC Ministries while in prison. I made a business plan and ministry outline and pitched it to my home church Pleasant Gardens Baptist Church in Marion, NC. We are under their watch care and my board of directors is at PG Baptist. Originally I just wanted to go back into jails/prisons and sing songs I wrote and give my testimony. But, God had much bigger plans for us. The first year out of prison we did over 60 ministry dates. Now we do anywhere from 60-80 a year and are booked 4 months in advance. We minister everywhere from men's conferences to youth rallies, prisons to crusades, churches to recover houses and anywhere God opens the door. God is using this ministry in such a way that we are seeing on average 20 first time salvations a month and tons of rededications. At our events we lead worship, sing original songs, give my testimony and preach. Our ministry is unique because we have so much to offer. On our ministry team is Jessica Smith who plays keyboards and sings. Her husband Nathan Smith is one of our speaking pastors and my wife does all the website and graphic design/videography.
Q: Talk to us about your new EP MAGNIFICENT, how would you describe your sound and passion of this record?
I wrote all the songs on Magnificent right after my father suddenly died last year from a heart attack. All the songs were inspired by that experience. There was a deep hurt that no one but God could heal. It seemed like God at the time was so far away. I learned that in the midst of the silence God is there and speaking to us louder than ever before. There is actually a song on Magnificent called, "In The Silence" that tells about this experience. Our sound is contemporary Christian but I feel it has a sort of real life twist to it. It is not like everything else you hear on the radio. It doesn't have that canned pop sound. To me it has a passion behind it that reaches deep down into our souls and tells about Jesus!
Q: "Great is Your Name," I believe, is the new single. For readers who have not heard it yet, what's the song about?
"Greater is Your Name" is about the loss of my father. Although it does not mention his name, it was inspired by his death. At the time of his loss it seemed like everything was just caving in on our family. The only thing that we could do was call on the name of Jesus to help get us through that tough time. I didn't know, much but I knew there was power in the name of Jesus and that God's name was greater than all of our pain. HE alone could heal our broken hearts. So, this song sort of became my battle cry to the lord. I wrote it to be upbeat and happy even though it was about a sad time in my life. My father always said, 'don't worry about me when I die because I will be with Jesus." So, I figured that it needed to be upbeat, happy and joyful because that is how he is being in the presence of Jesus.
Q: In what ways, do you wish this new album to impact both believers and non-believers?
It has always been my prayer that my music would touch people's lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I tell people all the time that this is first and foremost a ministry, the music is secondary. We want to see people saved and come to know Christ. My music just happens to be the avenue that God uses to open up the door for us to do that. We are not the greatest at anything, but we always pray for God's anointing and He always blesses it. God alone is doing mighty things through our ministry and music. I hope He uses this music around the world to bring people into his Kingdom. For believers, I hope it proclaims God's faithfulness and teaches us to rely on His strength and not our own.