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.
Years active 1991–present
Labels Essential
Past members
  • Billy Wilkins
  • Geof Barkley
  • August McCoy
  • Brad Avery
  • Jason Hoard
  • Tai Anderson
  • Brian Bunn
  • David Carr

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] Drummer David Carr is a current band member. 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 7 million albums in the United States and had 28 number one radio hits.[3] Their fans are known as "Gomers" after a song on their second album about Gomer.[4]


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

In 1991, high-schoolers Mac Powell and Mark Lee formed Third Day as a Christian music group with pianist Billy Wilkins and guitarist August McCoy. McCoy left the following year to pursue tertiary education. At a 1992 event at Lee's Church, Third Day performed alongside a band called the Bullard Family Singers, which featured David Carr and Tai Anderson. Third Day invited Carr and Anderson to join them shortly after.[1]

In 1993, the band started playing more frequently in the Atlanta region in order to save money to record an album. Wilkins left the group in order to pursue his teaching career.[5] Third Day recorded at Furies Studios in Atlanta and with the production help of Carr, Long Time Forgotten was released in 1994, producing and selling 2,000 copies.[6] In 1995, the band started looking for a second guitarist. Upon hearing Brad Avery play with singer Chris Carder, Avery was asked to audition. After playing Consuming Fire during the first rehearsal, Avery was officially asked to join the band.

The band's second album, Contagious, was self-financed for $3,000 and recorded at Furies Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. 1,000 CDs and cassette copies of the demo were released. While playing in Marietta, at the Strand Theatre, the owners offered the band a contract to sign with new independent record label Gray Dot Records. The band released the album Third Day, which sold 20,000 copies. Shortly after, Reunion Records bought out their Gray Dot contract and signed the band to a multi-album deal.[7]

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

Reunion Records released the now official version of Third Day, which 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.[8] Later in 1995, Christian music headliner Newsboys asked Third Day to open for them at five West Coast shows. The band also launched their own 65-city tour with All Star United and Seven Day Jesus opening for them. In 1996, the band was nominated for a Dove Award in the category of New Artist of the Year and their video for Consuming Fire won a Billboard Music Award in the category of Best Christian Video.[9]

In 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").[10] The following year, the band toured 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.[11]

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

In 1998, the band started working on Time under the production of Monroe Jones. Time was nominated for a Grammy Award and won another Dove Award for the band.[citation needed] Some of the songs that were recorded for possible inclusion in the album, but left out during production, are on the EP Southern Tracks.[12] During the band's live shows, they included a significant worship portion, prompting the band to release an album made up exclusively of worship songs. The subsequent album Offerings: A Worship Album 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 collaborated on the project City on a Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise with FFH, Caedmon's Call, Newsboys, Jars of Clay, and others.[13]

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 a concert attended by 15,000 fans at the HiFi Buys Amphitheatre in Atlanta to be released as their first DVD, The Offerings Experience.[citation needed] That same year, the band won 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 a Grammy. The album was certified gold the next year, along with Time.[14][15] 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, they 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 collaborated on the soundtrack for Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ, played at the Republican National Convention, and were featured on 60 Minutes.[16] In January 2007, the band played one night each in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney, Australia.[17]

The band's next album, Wherever You Are, debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 8.[18] It also won the band their third Grammy Award.

Christmas and compilation albums (2006–2008)[edit]

The band recorded and released its first Christmas-themed album, Christmas Offerings, in 2006. In 2007, they released their first compilations of hits, Chronology.

On February 28, 2008, Third Day released a statement announcing Brad Avery's departure from the band after 13 years and over 1,000 concerts.[19] According to the official press release, Avery left the band to pursue solo projects and Third Day would not replace him, 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, N.Y.

Revelation and Revelation Live (2008–2010)[edit]

Supporting the July 29, 2008 release of their new album Revelation, 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 also appears in EA Sports NASCAR video game NASCAR 09,[20] though the album was released over a month after the game. "Call My Name" hit No. 1 and was the fifth most-played song on R&R magazine's Christian CHR chart for 2008.[21]

In April 2009, the band released a live version of the album Revelation under the title Live Revelations as a CD/DVD combination. 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 winning Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album, their fourth career Grammy, and receiving nominations for "Born Again" in the two categories Best Gospel Performance and Best Gospel Song. Live Revelations achieved Gold status in its month of release, becoming the band's eighth album to do so.[citation needed]

Move (2010)[edit]

Third Day was featured on Winter Jam 2010, touring alongside a variety of contemporary Christian groups including the Newsboys, Fireflight and Tenth Avenue North. 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.[22] 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.[23]

Miracle and Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship (2012–2017)[edit]

Third Day released Miracle on November 6, 2012.[24] 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 released the worship album Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship on March 3, 2015.[25] The album, produced by The Sound Kids (Jonny Macintosh and JT Daly) as a worship experience with Third Day at the center of a "friend choir",[26] peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard 200,[27] No. 1 on the Christian Albums chart,[28] No. 5 on the Top Rock Albums chart[29] and No. 13 on the Digital Albums chart.[30] The album has had one single, "Soul on Fire", that spent 19 weeks on the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 2 on Hot Christian Songs[31] and No. 3 on Christian Digital Songs.[32] In 2015, bassist Tai Anderson announced he would take "a break from the upcoming touring season with Third Day". Anderson has been with the band for 23 years.[33]

Revival and farewell (2017–present)[edit]

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Third Day released the back-to-their-roots album, Revival, on August 4, 2017, recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Third Day reunited with producer Monroe Jones, who had worked with Third Day on six previous albums including Time, Offerings I and II and Come Together.[34]

On March 2, 2018 Third Day announced their farewell with 12 shows as a last chance to see them live.[35][34][36]



  • Mac Powell – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, tambourine (1991–present)
  • Mark Lee – electric guitar, backing vocals (1991–present)

Additional touring musicians

  • Scotty Wilbanks – keyboards, backing vocals (2005–present)[citation needed]
  • Tim Gibson – bass guitar (2015–present)[citation needed]
  • Trevor Morgan – mandolin, banjo, guitar, backing vocals (2016–present)[citation needed]


  • Billy Wilkins, keyboards. (1991–1994) 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 was a church youth leader and economics and business management teacher near Atlanta for many years; he currently owns a service company and continues to play keyboards professionally. He has not recorded with Third Day since 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 Chronology and II, on which Wilkins 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."[37] Avery left the band on February 28, 2008.
  • Jason Hoard – mandolin, banjo, guitar, backing vocals (2010–2012)[citation needed]
  • Samuel "Tai" Anderson – bass, backing vocals (1992–2015)[citation needed]
  • Brian Bunn – guitar, harmonica (2012–2016)[citation needed]
  • David Carr – drums, percussion (1992–2017)[38]



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
2017 Revival


American Music Awards[edit]

Year Award Result
2008 Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artists Won

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Award Title Result
1998 Best Rock Gospel Album Conspiracy No. 5 Nominated
2000 Best Rock Gospel Album Time Nominated
2001 Best Rock Gospel Album Offerings: A Worship Album Nominated
2003 Best Rock Gospel Album Come Together Won
2004 Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album Offerings II: All I Have to Give Nominated
2005 Best Rock Gospel Album Wire Won
2006 Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album Live Wire Nominated
2007 Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album Wherever You Are Won
2010 Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album Live Revelations Won
Best Gospel Performance "Born Again" Nominated
Best Gospel Song "Born Again" Nominated
2016 Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song "Soul on Fire"[39] Nominated

Gospel Music Awards[edit]

Year Award Title Result
1998 Rock Album of the Year Conspiracy No. 5 Won
Rock Recorded Song of the Year "Alien" Won
1999 Rock Recorded Song of the Year "Agnus Dei" Nominated
Special Event Album of the Year Exodus Won
2000 Rock Album of the Year Time Won
2001 Group of the Year Won
Artist of the Year Won
Rock Recorded Song of the Year "Sky Falls Down" Won
Praise and Worship Album of the Year Offerings: A Worship Album Won
Special Event Album of the Year City on a Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise Won
2002 Group of the Year Won
Rock Recorded Song of the Year "Come Together" Won
Rock Album of the Year Come Together Won
Long Form Music Video of the Year Third Day Live in Concert: The Offerings Experience Won
2003 Group of the Year Won
Rock Recorded Song of the Year "40 Days" Won
Special Event Album of the Year City on a Hill: Sing Alleluia Won
2004 Group of the Year Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year "Sing a Song" Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year "You are so Good to me" Nominated
Worship Song of the Year "God of Wonders" Nominated
Praise and 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 Recorded Song of the Year "Lift Up Your Face" Nominated
Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year Move Nominated
Recorded Music Packaging of the Year Move Won
2015 Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year "Soul on Fire" Nominated
Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship Nominated

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. Archived from the original on January 11, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2009. 
  3. ^ Matthews, Kent (May 8, 2014). "Third Day's a charm: Band touring behind album "Miracle"". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ Cummings, Tony (June 6, 2007). "Third Day" Chronology, Offerings, Glory Revealed and Facing The Giants". Cross Rhythms UK. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1993)". 
  6. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1994)". 
  7. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1995)". 
  8. ^ BillboardThird Day. "Third Day Timeline (1997)". Archived from the original on March 20, 2006. 
  9. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1996)". 
  10. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1997)". Archived from the original on March 20, 2006. 
  11. ^ Gospel Music Museum. "Rising Legends/Third Day". Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  12. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (1999)". Archived from the original on March 20, 2006. 
  13. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (2000)". 
  14. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (2001)". 
  15. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (2002)". 
  16. ^ Third Day. "Third Day Timeline (2004)". 
  17. ^ 96five FM and 7News Tour Information Archived September 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ "Billboard Third Day Chart History". 
  19. ^ "Christian Music, Christ, Community –". 
  20. ^ Hayward, Andrew (May 22, 2008). "NASCAR 09 Soundtrack Revealed". Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  21. ^ The band also had two tracks on the soundtrack for the 2008 release of the film "Fireproof." 2008 Year End Charts/Top Christian CHR songs Archived May 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., R&R magazine, Retrieved January 6, 2009
  22. ^ "Make a Difference Tour Website". 
  23. ^ ""Follow Me There" Selected as Theme Song for TLC's Sarah Palin's Alaska". November 12, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Third Day at work on its next studio project". Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  25. ^ Caldwell, Alex. "Third Day, "Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship". Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Third Day". 
  28. ^ "Third Day". 
  29. ^ "Third Day". 
  30. ^ "Third Day". 
  31. ^ "Third Day". 
  32. ^ "Third Day". 
  33. ^ "Tai Anderson Announces Hiatus From Third Day". New Release Today. January 31, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  34. ^ a b "Third Day Talks Returning to Southern Rock Roots on 'Revival,' Shares Behind-the-Scenes Video". Retrieved March 3, 2018. 
  35. ^ "Farewell Tour Announcement". Facebook. Retrieved March 2, 2018. 
  36. ^ "Third Day to Disband After Farewell Tour: Exclusive". Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  37. ^[dead link]
  38. ^ "David Carr on Instagram: "Dearest Third Day Fans, By now you've likely heard about the farewell tour taking place this summer - the last 12 shows of an unbelievable…"". Instagram. Retrieved March 6, 2018. 
  39. ^ "News: Third Day's "Soul On Fire" Most Played Song of 2015". Gospel Music Association. January 8, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2016. 

External links[edit]