An Army of Love: Stephen Christian and Aaron Gillespie Join Forces to Combat Terror By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries and the ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERUQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – April 29, 2015) -- For
those familiar with rock music, the names Stephen Christian and Aaron
Gillespie will be all too familiar. Both are architects of the modern
Stephen Christian is the lead vocalist of the mega-band, Amberlin.
Having seven studio albums with hundreds of thousands of sales, Stephen
Christian has seen his band tour the world and climb Billboard rock
Aaron Gillespie is the former drummer and front man of the rock band,
Underoath. With two Grammy nominations and several hit record on the
Billboard charts, Gillespie spends his time producing, writing, and
touring with the rock band, Paramore.
There’s a lot in common between the two musicians. Both are from
Florida. Both have successful musical careers. And both love their
family and God.
Now there’s one more thing they share in common: a collaboration on a new song, Army of Love,
to help children caught in the crossfire of terror for the ministry
Reload Love. The song will be released in late Spring of 2015.
Reload Love is a relief and awareness organization based in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. Its focus is to bring awareness and support to
children caught in terror. Their motto is “We are the army of love.
We dream of a day when children do not fear for their lives. By
transforming spent bullets we help heal little ones around the world
whose lives have been damaged by the ugliness of terrorism.”
It’s a timely organization; terrorism and its effects are felt everywhere around the world.
I reached out to Brian Nixon—one of the co-writers of the song, Army of Love—to give some input regarding terrorism, Reload Love, and the song.
Do you have any idea on the amount of deaths due to terrorism, I ask?
“I’ve read that terrorism has caused over 130,000 fatalities around
the world between the years 2006-2013. And according to ABC News, 17,800
people were killed around the world in terrorist acts in 2013. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/04/state-17800-plus-people-killed-globally-in-terrorist-attacks-in-2013/
These are frightening numbers, increasing every day. And in the
midst of these numbers are children, helpless and harmed. And here is
where Reload Loves steps in, helping those children deal with the
effects of terrorism.
I ask Brian about Reload Love.
“Reload Love was founded by Lenya Heitzig for the sole purpose of
helping children caught in terror. She had the idea of turning bullets
into jewelry charms to help babies. Her team—Jennifer Santiago, Murray
Byrne, and Jarrett Petero—have traveled to Burma and the Middle East to
scout out areas to assist, and have assessed the damage of terrorist
acts on children. It’s an amazing ministry.”
I asked Brian Nixon how the song, Army of Love, began.
“It happened quite quickly. Nathan Heitzig—one of the Executive
Pastors at Calvary Albuquerque—asked the worship team to write a song
for Reload Love. I happened to be in the meetings where it was
right after the meeting, Stuart Laws, Ryan Wylie, Tamara Aragon, and
myself went into a room and wrote the basic song structure. I came up
with the verse melody, Stuart did the pre-chorus and chorus, and Tamara
wrote the bridge melody. Then Ryan and Stuart took the song—worked out
the lyrics, chords, and arrangement—and it was performed two weeks later
for the Reload Love awareness campaign. People really seemed to like
How did you get the two big names to sing on the song, I ask?
“Again, that was Nathan. Aaron had been working with our worship team on a new album project called the War is Over.
Aaron is the producer of the album. So it was natural to have him sing
back up and play most of the instruments. Stephen is a friend of the
ministry who happened to be in town to lead worship. Nathan asked
Stephen to sing the song. The rest was put together by our engineer,
Who played most of the instruments on the song?
“Aaron did most of the instrument work on the recording. I believe Kenny played some guitar and I played the Moog Synthesizer.”
Is the song like the music of Amberlin or Underoath?
“Not really. Both Amberlin and Underoath are harder rock bands. Army
of Love is more on the pop side. But both guys do an amazing job with
the vocals, though. Talk about talent—these guys are the real deal;
How will the song help Reload Love?
“All proceeds of the sale of the song will go directly to Reload
Love. Our prayer is that people will download the song from the
website—reloadlove.com. 100% of the money will be directed towards the
support and assistance of children caught in terror.”
Do you think there will be future partnerships between Aaron Gillespie and Stephen Christian?
“Hard to say. Both are friends of our church, Calvary Albuquerque.
And both are frequent guests at our worship services. I’d love to see
the two collaborate more. We can only hope. For the time being—let’s
say that their partnership will be a blessing for many children around
For more information about Reload Love, click here: www.reloadlove.com
To follow Reload Love on Facebook, click here: https://www.facebook.com/ireloadlove?ref=br_rs
For updated YouTube videos, click here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ireloadlove
To read a story about an historic terror event, read my story about
How Idi Amin changed my life while I was writing, with Ray Barnett, the
book, Uganda Holocaust: http://patch.com/california/lakeforest-ca/bp--how-idi-amin-the-butcher-of-uganda-changed-my-life708577d29
Photo captions: 1) Aaron Gillespie of Underoath and Paramore. 2) Brian Nixon. 3) Reload Love necklace. 4) Uganda Holocaust cover.
Wooding, 74, is an award-winning journalist who was born in Nigeria of
British missionary parents, now living in Southern California with his
wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 51 years. They
have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in
the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to
Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and
he hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on the KWVE Radio Network
in Southern California and which is also carried throughout the United
States and around the world. He is the author of some 45 books, the
latest of which is a novel about the life of Jesus through the eyes of
his mother called “Mary: My Story from Bethlehem to Calvary”. For more
information, please go to http://marythebook.com/, where you can find details of how to order the book.
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