FOUR24: "IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH"
It's 1996 in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. A group of young men is gathered around a piano in an empty church sanctuary. Their fingers snapping frantically to keep the rhythm as they begin singing a song. There is no crowd or audience; the service has been over for a while and the congregation is long gone, most-likely eating lunch or taking that popular after-church nap. But the young men stick around, almost like their feet are held to the floor with glue. It doesn't feel like the right time to eat, or even leave the church for that matter. Something was happening, something meaningful...something divine. The inexperienced voices suddenly began to meld together unexpectedly, weaving into a complicated harmony. This was the moment when a ministry was born.
In the early days, the group was known as "Dedicated" and was led by the founder, Alex Ortiz. Taking inspiration from the powerhouse vocal group Take 6, they developed a sound that was built on complicated vocal harmonies. They spent hours in church basement rehearsals honing their gifts. As they matured, the purpose started to materialize in front of their eyes: to provide an alternative to the negative music in the world & to make it relevant, especially to the younger generations. With this thought in mind, they took their music outside of the church walls and hit the streets of Philadelphia. Along with the new purpose, came the desire to redefine their identity. They spent months trying to find a name that represented their passion for worship. One day, when reading over the story of Jesus and the woman at the well, they came across a verse in John 4:24: "God is Spirit, those who worship Him must worship in Spirit & in Truth." Jesus had put into words what the band had been feeling in their hearts. Soon, the verse became the foundation for their purpose and inspired them to take on a new name: Four24.
As time passed, they began to meet others who shared in the same vision. With this, came an infusion of new, diverse talents into the ministry. Eventually, Four24 would become a full band. They still held on to the harmonies from the early days but now the style of worship seemed to shift to a new place, a higher place. The addition of these gifted musicians gave Four24 the flexibility to be more dynamic in worship and more creative in the songwriting process. It was at about this time that Four24 began producing and recording their own music as an independent band. To date, they have completed three albums: Libre/Free (2000); A Higher Place (2005) and Ablaze (2010). Each album was produced by Four24, featuring many original songs by current and past band members. They have received a ton of support from audiences and fans, selling over 5000 albums and donating thousands more to the less fortunate. Four24 has also received a number of accolades in Christian Music. They include: winning the CybermusicCentral.com talent competition, finalists in TBN's "Exalting Him" talent competition and being selected to sing the National Anthem for a Philadelphia Phillies game. Despite all of the success, the band stayed humble and focused on its roots and purpose: PRAISE.
Over the years, Four24 was a very diverse, and ever-changing ministry. Over 30 different singers and musicians have contributed to the movement in one way or another. These individuals came from many different churches and cultural backgrounds, but each one joined the cause because they all knew that this was something special. It was more than just a band, it was a ministry. Eventually, many of the members decided that it was time to leave Four24 and move on to other callings in their lives. For some, it was a season to start a new family or to relocate and make a fresh start. For others, it was a new role in church leadership, teaching or music...and for some others, it was a chance to pursue a new business venture or to further their careers. Regardless of the next season, it would be impossible to forget the times shared in ministry and the impact it had on others.
Over the next few years, the time away would allow some time of reflection. What was next? How would the legacy of worshipping "in spirit and in truth" look going forward? Finally, the answer came in the form of new songs, new vision and a fresh purpose: to use our gifts and music to spark a new generation of worshippers. This new movement needed an identity, a call sign that looked forward to a fresh experience of worship while paying homage to victories of the past... FOUR24 WORSHIP.
This new name and mission will bring together a collective of singers, musicians and others, all contributing to make amazing music and other creative expressions that will bring about genuine worship to the King. This expression of worship will serve as a source of strength and encouragement...ultimately leading as many people as possible to the foot of the Cross. Join FOUR24 WORSHIP as we help to usher in the next generation of worshippers who will deliver a passionate and uplifting message of hope and salvation...IN SPIRIT. IN TRUTH.