Third Day

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Third Day
Third day01.JPG
Third Day performing live at Hillsong Church, Sydney.
Background information
Origin Marietta, Georgia, U.S.
Genres Christian rock, southern rock, contemporary Christian
Years active 1991–present
Labels Essential
Members Mac Powell
Mark Lee
Tai Anderson
David Carr
Past members Billy Wilkins
Brad Avery
Geoff Barkley
August McCoy

Third Day is a Christian rock band formed in Marietta, Georgia during the 1990s. The band was founded by lead singer Mac Powell, guitarist Mark Lee and former member Billy Wilkins.[1] The other band members are bassist Tai Anderson and drummer David Carr. The band's name is a reference to the biblical accounts of Jesus' rising from the dead on the third day following his crucifixion. The band was inducted in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 19, 2009.[2] They have sold over 10 million albums in the United States alone.[citation needed]


Forming years and independent recordings (1991–1994)[edit]

In 1991, Mac Powell and Mark Lee formed the band Third Day as a Christian music group while in high school. During this time, the band enlisted pianist Billy Wilkins and guitarist August McCoy. McCoy left the following year to pursue his tertiary education, while the band continued to grow and form. At a 1992 event at Lee's Church, Third Day performed, followed by a band called the Bullard Family Singers, which featured members David Carr and Tai Anderson. Third Day invited Carr and Anderson to join Third Day shortly after.[1]

In 1993, while remaining in school, the band started playing more frequently in the Atlanta region in order to save money to record an album. Wilkins chose to leave the group at this time in order to further pursue his teaching career.[3] Third Day continued to work on their album, recording at Furies Studios in Atlanta. With the production help of Carr, Long Time Forgotten was finally released in 1994, producing, and quickly selling, 2,000 copies.[4] In 1995, the band started looking for a second guitarist and after hearing Brad Avery play with singer Chris Carder, Avery was asked to audition with the band. After playing Consuming Fire during their first rehearsal, Avery was officially asked to join the band.

As the band rounded off its line-up, at that time, Mark Lee had made difficult decision to quit the band, to pursue a full-time college load at Georgia Tech, however returned shortly after having never missed any pivotal moments in the band's career. 1994's Contagious, which was self-financed for $3,000 and recorded at Furies Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, featuring a childhood picture of August on the cover. 1,000 CDs and cassette copies of the demo were released. While playing in Marietta, Georgia at the Strand Theatre, the owners offered the band a contract to sign with a new independent record label called Gray Dot Records. With recording contract in-hand, the band released the album Third Day, which ended up selling 20,000 copies. Shortly after, Reunion Records bought out their Grey Dot contract and signed the band to a multi-album deal.[5]

Recording contract with Reunion Records (1995–1997)[edit]

Once under contract, Reunion Records immediately released the now official version of Third Day. The record has sold over 300,000 copies and was well received by critics. The album also yielded their only mainstream rock radio hit in the U.S., "Nothing at All", which peaked at No. 34 on the Billboard rock charts.[6] Later the same year, Christian music headliner Newsboys asked Third Day to open for them at five of their West Coast shows. At the same time, they launched their own 65-city tour with All Star United and Seven Day Jesus opening for them. The band's successful debut was culminated with being nominated for a Dove Award in the category of New Artist of the Year and their video for Consuming Fire winning a Billboard Music Award in the category of Best Christian Video.[7]

In the winter of 1997, the band started working on their second album, Conspiracy No. 5. The album was produced by Sam Taylor, who had previously worked with King's X and other Christian bands. The album was nominated for a Grammy and won Dove Awards for Rock Album of the Year and Rock Song of the Year ("Alien").[8] The following year, the band dedicated exclusively to touring around the United States, both alone and again opening for Newsboys. Also in 1998, the band recorded a cover of Michael W. Smith's "Agnus Dei" for his Dove Award-winning compilation project Exodus.

Mainstream and international success (1998–2006)[edit]

In 1998, the band started working on their next project titled Time under the production of Monroe Jones. They had compiled approximately 30 songs to choose from during the last year and ended up choosing ten for the new album. Time was also nominated for a Grammy Award and won another Dove Award for the band. Some of the songs that were recorded for possible inclusion in the album, but were left out during production, can be found in the EP Southern Tracks.[9] During the band's live shows, the worship portion of the concert was becoming more "powerful", prompting the band to release an album made up exclusively of worship songs. The subsequent album was entitled Offerings: A Worship Album and took about a week to record. In 2000 to support both Time and Offerings, Third Day went on tour alongside Jennifer Knapp. Later the same year, the band also collaborated on the project City on a Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise alongside FFH, Caedmon's Call, Newsboys, Jars of Clay, and others.[10]

In 2001, the band played in Australia and New Zealand on the heels of the success of the Offerings album. While touring in the US, Third Day recorded one of their concerts in Atlanta to be released as their first DVD, The Offerings Experience. The concert was held at the Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre with an attendance of close to 15,000 people. That same year, the band won a total of five Dove Awards as well as their first Grammy. They closed the year with the release of their fifth studio album, Come Together, which won two Dove Awards and one more Grammy. The album was certified gold the next year, along with Time.[11][12] The band appeared in the 2002 film Joshua, the movie version of the story of Joseph Girzone. The Third Day song My Hope is You was included in the Joshua soundtrack album. In 2003, the band released a follow-up to their hit worship CD Offerings entitled Offerings II: All I Have to Give.

In 2004, the band released their seventh album, Wire, and toured the States with tobyMac and Warren Barfield. In June of the same year, the band traveled to Europe for a two-week tour. Upon returning, the band recorded a concert at Louisville and released it as the live album, Live Wire. During that year, they also collaborated on the soundtrack for Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ, they played at the Republican National Convention, and were featured in the show 60 Minutes.[13] In January 2007, the band played one night each in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney, Australia.[14]

Their next album, Wherever You Are, debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 8.[15] It also won the band their third Grammy Award.

Christmas and compilation albums (2006–2011)[edit]

The band recorded and released its first Christmas themed album Christmas Offerings in 2006. In 2007, the group released its first compilations of their hits entitled Chronology. Their next studio album called Revelation was released July 29, 2008.

On February 28, 2008, Third Day released a statement announcing Brad Avery's departure from the band after 13 years and over 1000 concerts.[16] According to the official press release, Avery left the band to pursue solo projects and Third Day would not replace him, instead continuing on as a quartet.

Following Avery's departure, the band performed at the April 2008 Papal Youth Rally at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, NY. Supporting the release of their new album Revelation, on July 29, 2008 the band appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno where they performed the album's first single Call My Name and on November 20, 2008 they appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson performing the album's title track. The song This Is Who I Am off the Revelation album also appears in EA Sports NASCAR video game NASCAR 09,[17] though the album was released over a month after the game. "Call My Name" hit No. 1 and was the 5th most-played song on R&R magazine's Christian CHR chart for 2008.[18]

They released a live version of the album Revelation under the title Live Revelations in April 2009 as a CD/DVD combination offering. Third Day was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall Of Fame on September 19, 2009. In December 2009, Third Day was nominated for three Grammy Awards, with Live Revelations being nominated for and winning Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album, and receiving nominations only for "Born Again" in the two categories Best Gospel Performance and Best Gospel Song. They won the Best Rock or Rap award, thus winning their fourth career Grammy. Live Revelations achieved Gold status in its month of release, becoming the band's eighth album to go gold.

Third Day was featured on Winter Jam 2010, touring alongside a variety of contemporary Christian groups including the Newsboys, Fireflight, Tenth Avenue North, and others. After releasing the single, "Lift Up Your Face" in July 2010, Third Day released their ninth studio album, Move, on October 19, 2010. On October 30 they finished the World Vision-sponsored tour Make a Difference Tour 2010 with TobyMac, Michael W. Smith, Jason Gray and Max Lucado in Fayetteville, NC.[19] The group's song "Follow Me There" from Move is the featured as the theme song to the TLC Television show Sarah Palin's Alaska which debuted in 2010.[20]

Miracle and Lead Us Back (2012–present)[edit]

Third Day announced in 2012 that they would be releasing a new album, which was later announced that it would be titled Miracle, released on November 6, 2012.[21] The band toured Miracle on the Miracle Tour with artists Colton Dixon and Josh Wilson as their opening acts, commencing on February 21, 2013 in Fairfax, Virginia and concluding on May 19, 2014 in Orlando, Florida.[citation needed]

Third Day announced the release of a new worship album, Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship, on March 3, 2015.[22][not in citation given]



  • Mac Powell - Lead vocals, Acoustic guitar, tambourine (1991–present)
  • Mark Lee - Electric guitar, backing vocals (1993–present)
  • Samuel Tai Anderson - Bass, backing vocals (1991–present)
  • David Carr - Drums, Percussion (1991–present)
Additional touring musicians
  • Scotty Wilbanks - keyboards, backing vocals (2005–)
  • Jason Hoard - mandolin, banjo, guitar, backing vocals (2010–2012)
  • Brian Bunn - Guitar, Harmonica (2012–)


  • Billy Wilkins, keyboards. (1991–1993) Wilkins was one of the original members of Third Day, from 1991 to 1993, along with Powell and Lee. He was also with the group when Anderson and Carr joined, both of whom were still in high school at the time. He is currently an economics and management teacher near Atlanta. He has recorded with Third Day as recently as 2004, when he played "Blessed Assurance" on a project for author/speaker Max Lucado. In 2007, film footage of three of the band's earliest concerts were released on the two projects "Chronology I and II," in which Billy is included.
  • Geof Barkley, keyboards. (1993) Barkley (formerly of Geoff Moore and the Distance) played keyboards on every live album in the band's history and every live show for nearly seven years. Barkley also performed on Wherever You Are. Although never officially a member of the band, Brad Avery has described Barkley as '"in the band", but he's not a "member" of Third Day, that's two different things. But he is in the band, and he plays with us live every night, and he rocks.' Barkley's background vocals in songs such as "God of Wonders" and "Took My Place" as well as "You Are So Good To Me" have become integral parts of Third Day's live sound. Barkley finished touring with Third Day on October 21, 2005 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • August McCoy, guitar. (1991–1992)
  • Brad Brent Christopher Avery, guitar. (1995–2008) From Third Day Weblog by Third Day. "Third Day and Brad Avery have made the very difficult decision to part ways. We appreciate Brad's many contributions to the band's career to date, including his work on our forthcoming album, but the time has come for us to follow our separate paths. He has been an important part of Third Day for the last 13 years as we've traveled the world together and performed over 1,000 concerts. We will miss him as a band member but he will always remain our brother and our friend. Brad is a wonderful person, gifted songwriter and talented musician. We trust that God has amazing plans for his future."[23] Avery left the band on February 28, 2008.


Main article: Third Day discography
Studio Albums
Year Title
1996 Third Day
1997 Conspiracy No. 5
1999 Time
2000 Offerings: A Worship Album
2001 Come Together
2003 Offerings II: All I Have to Give
2004 Wire
2005 Wherever You Are
2008 Revelation
2010 Move
2012 Miracle
2015 Lead Us Back: Songs Of Worship[citation needed]


American Music Awards[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Gospel Music Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
2004 Group of the Year Nominated
Rock Recorded Song of the Year ("Sing a Song") Nominated
Rock Recorded Song of the Year ("You Are So Good to Me") Nominated
Worship Song of the Year ("God of Wonders") Nominated
Praise & Worship Album of the Year (Offerings II: All I Have to Give) Won
Long Form Music Video of the Year (Third Day Live In Concert, The Come Together Tour) Won
2005 Rock Recorded Song of the Year ("Come on Back to Me") Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (Wire) Won
2006 Song of the Year ("Cry Out to Jesus") Nominated
Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Cry Out to Jesus") Won
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (Wherever You Are) Nominated
Long Form Music Video of the Year (Live Wire) Nominated
2007 Artist of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year ("Cry Out to Jesus") Nominated
Christmas Album of the Year (Christmas Offerings) Won
2009 Artist of the Year Nominated
Group of the Year Nominated
Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year (Revelation) Won
Recorded Music Packaging of the Year (Revelation) Won
2010 Long Form Music Video of the Year (Live Revelations) Nominated
2011 Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (Move) Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Lift Up Your Face") Nominated
Recorded Music Packaging of the Year (Move) Won

Billboard magazine best of the 2000s[edit]

  • No. 3 Christian Albums Artist of the Decade
  • No. 5 Christian Songs Artist of the Decade
  • No. 15 Christian Song of the Decade: "Cry Out to Jesus"
  • No. 27 Christian Song of the Decade: "Call My Name"
  • No. 39 Christian Song of the Decade: "You Are So Good to Me"
  • No. 43 Christian Song of the Decade: "Mountain of God"
  • No. 28 Christian Album of the Decade: "Wherever You Are"
  • No. 33 Christian Album of the Decade: "Come Together"
  • No. 37 Christian Album of the Decade: "Offerings: A Worship Album"
  • No. 39 Christian Album of the Decade: "Offerings II: All I Have to Give"


  1. ^ a b Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1992)". 
  2. ^ Williams, Lindsay (September 26, 2009). "Third Day Enters Georgia Hall of Fame". Weekend 22. Retrieved November 8, 2009. 
  3. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1993)". 
  4. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1994)". 
  5. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1995)". 
  6. ^ BillboardThird Day. "Third Day Timeline (1997)". 
  7. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1996)". 
  8. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1997)". 
  9. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1999)". 
  10. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (2000)". 
  11. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (2001)". 
  12. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (2002)". 
  13. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (2004)". 
  14. ^ 96five FM and 7News Tour Information[dead link]
  15. ^ "Billboard Third Day Chart History". 
  16. ^ "Christian Music, Christ, Community -". 
  17. ^ Hayward, Andrew (May 22, 2008). "NASCAR 09 Soundtrack Revealed". Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  18. ^ The band also has two tracks on the soundtrack for the late 2008 release of the film "Fireproof." 2008 Year End Charts/Top Christian CHR songs, R&R magazine, Retrieved January 6, 2009
  19. ^ "Make a Difference Tour Website". 
  20. ^ "“Follow Me There” Selected as Theme Song for TLC’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska". November 12, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Third Day at work on its next studio project". Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Third Day To Release New Worship Album, "Lead Us Back" On March 3, 2015! - Third Day". Third Day. 
  23. ^

External links[edit]