Stephen Christian

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Stephen Christian
Anberlin @ Club Capitol (26 8 2011) (6105957182) cropped.jpg
Background information
Birth nameStephen Christian Arnold
BornKalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, pastor
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards
Years active1998–present
Associated actsAnberlin, Anchor & Braille, SaGoh 24/7

Stephen Christian is an American singer and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist of the alternative rock band Anberlin, as well as the vocalist of his acoustic side-project Anchor & Braille. He and his bandmates started Anberlin in 2002, after the demise of their previous group, known as SaGoh 24/7. He is one of the main songwriters for Anberlin along with Joseph Milligan, and with the band has released seven albums, the final being in 2014. Many of the albums in the Anberlin discography have peaked in the top ten on various Billboard charts.

He founded the non-profit and humanitarian-oriented band Faceless International, and is the founder of Wood Water Records, the home of Anchor & Braille. Christian wrote and self-published the memoir The Orphaned Anything's (2008). Christian also started the solo project Anchor & Braille in 2007, and their debut album Felt, produced by Aaron Marsh of Copeland, was released in 2009. Felt debuted at number 30 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart.[1] They released a second album, The Quiet Life, in 2012, with Christian again handling vocals and songwriting. A reviewer on Absolutepunk called The Quiet Life "a chaotic beauty of an album as well as [Christian's] most personal and eloquent effort to date."[2]

On October 30, 2018, Calvary Church of Clearwater, Florida announced that Christian will assume the role of director of worship and creative arts in January 2019, and on August 26, 2019, Christian announced that he would be the campus pastor for Grace Family Church's South Tampa Campus.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Performing with Anberlin in Las Cruces, NM at the 2007 Warped Tour

Stephen Christian was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

At some point in his early life, Christian moved to Winter Haven, Florida.[citation needed] Christian attended Winter Haven High School along with bandmates Deon Rexroat and Joseph Milligan.[4] During high school, the three formed the punk band SaGoh 24/7 with Joey Bruce, which eventually transformed into Anberlin. Christian's younger brother Paul was an influence on some of the band's music.[4] They released two albums, Servants After God's Own Heart (1999), and Then I Corrupt Youth (2001), with Christian singing lead vocals on both.

Christian is a graduate from University of Central Florida and the Florida State University College of Law,[4] with a bachelor's degree in Psychology.[5] He attended college to study non-profits, with plans to work for Habitat for Humanity or UNICEF, but Anberlin was signed a month after he graduated.[6]

Music career[edit]

2002–14: Anberlin[edit]

Following the signing of Anberlin, Christian wrote many of the band's albums. Anberlin has released seven albums: Blueprints for the Black Market, Never Take Friendship Personal, Cities, New Surrender, and Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place, Vital, and Lowborn. Anberlin has also released a compilation album, Lost Songs. They released their final album in 2014.

Christian wrote a memoir, The Orphaned Anything's, which was self-published via iUniverse in early 2008.

2007–14: Anchor & Braille, Wood Water Records[edit]

He is also the founder of Anchor & Braille's label, Wood Water Records, which is distributed through Universal Music Group, which Anberlin is signed to.[7][8] He founded the acoustic group Anchor & Braille, and they released a 7" single in 2007. He wrote all songs and performed vocals on their 2009 album Felt, which was recorded in 2008. The album was released through Christian's own label Wood Water Records and Federal Distribution on August 4, 2009 and was produced, engineered and mixed by Aaron Marsh from fellow Florida-based band Copeland.[7][9] Felt debuted at number 30 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart.[1]

His 2012 album with Anchor & Braille, The Quiet Life, was well-received by critics, with most of the praise directed at Christian's songwriting. Of "Goes Without Saying", Artist Direct called it "One of the most brilliant and beautiful entries into Christian's catalog, and it's the perfect prelude to the sonic majesty contained in The Quiet Life."[10]

2015–present: Worship leader[edit]

After a final world tour with Anberlin, Christian followed what he described as God's leading to serve as director of worship at Calvary Chapel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.[11]

Calvary Church in Clearwater, Florida announced that Christian would return to the Tampa Bay region to assume the role of director of worship and creative arts on January 6, 2019.[12][13] He accepted the role of campus pastor of Grace Family Church's South Tampa Campus on August 26, 2019.[14][3]

Style and influences[edit]

Christian with Anberlin in 2011

Christian has stated that his interest in humanitarian efforts has influenced the themes of several of Anberlin's songs.[citation needed]

Publishing history[edit]


  • The Orphaned Anything's (February 2008)


With SaGoh 24/7[edit]

Studio albums

  • 1999: Servants After God's Own Heartlead vocals
  • 2001: Then I Corrupt Youthlead vocals

With Anberlin[edit]

Studio albums

With Anchor & Braille[edit]

Albums by Anchor & Braille
Year Album title Release details Chart peaks
US Heat
2009 Felt 30
2012 The Quiet Life
  • Released: July 31, 2012
  • Label: Tooth & Nail Records
  • Format: CD, digital
2016 Songs for the Late Night Drive Home
  • Released: February 9, 2016
  • Label: Tooth & Nail Records
  • Format: CD, digital
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As a solo artist[edit]

  • Wildfires[15] – 2017


The following is an incomplete list of songs that have Stephen Christian featured as either a vocalist or songwriter:

  • 2009: Craig OwensWith Love EP (featured vocalist on the song "Products of Poverty")
  • 2011: Hyland – "The One That Got Away" (featuring Stephen Christian during the chorus)
  • 2015: Fireflight – "Safety" (featuring Stephen Christian), on Innova
  • Horsell Common – "I'm Dead" (featuring Stephen Christian)
  • Esteban – "Follow" (featuring Stephen Christian)
  • Greek Fire – "I'm Afraid of Americans" (featuring Stephen Christian)
  • Number One Gun – "Disappear" (featuring Stephen Christian), on This Is All We Know

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Chart History - Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  2. ^ "Anchor & Braille - The Quiet Life". Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Stephen Christian on Instagram: "So excited to announce that I've taken a Pastoral role at @gfcflorida. Special thanks to Pastor Craig and the South Tampa community for the…"". Instagram. August 26, 2019. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Topic Galleries - South Florida". Sun-Sentinel. October 19, 2011. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  5. ^ "Suburban Roads". Suburban Roads. February 9, 2007. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  6. ^ "Meet new people and chat online with MeetMe!". Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Anchor & Braille Release Date, Track List". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
  8. ^ "Anchor & Braille". Interpunk. Archived from the original on August 28, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
  9. ^ Shea, Mike (November 2008). "Anberlin Podcast with Alternative Press Magazine". Alternative Press. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
  10. ^ "Anchor & Braille Debut "Goes Without Saying" on". ARTISTdirect.
  11. ^ "Stephen Christian | Calvary Church".
  12. ^ "Anberlin singer Stephen Christian hired as worship leader at Calvary Church in Clearwater". October 30, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  13. ^ "Interview with Stephen Christian | Calvary Church".
  14. ^ Trapp, Philip. "Anberlin's Stephen Christian Becomes a Pastor at Florida Church". Loudwire.
  15. ^ "#WILDFIRES coming July, 2017". Facebook.