Getting to Know Christian Pop Band Newsong

Newsong. HHM

The popular group started out in 1981 as a 9-member church band for Morningside Baptist Church in Valdosta, Georgia.

Band Members

  • Billy Goodwin (lead vocals, guitar) - Joined NewSong: Before the beginning on May 1, 1981
  • Eddie Carswell (songwriter, background vocals, percussion) - Co-founded NewSong: May 1, 1981
  • Russ Lee (lead vocals) - Returned in 2009
  • Matt Butler (Cello, Keyboard, Violin, Accordion, vocals) - Joined: 2000, left in 2002 and rejoined in 2003
  • Rico Thomas (guitar)
  • Mark Clay (bass)
  • Jack Pumphrey (drums)
  • Matt Goodwin (percussion)


Throughout the years, and changes in the group, they have had 17 #1 singles, six Dove Award nominations, numerous songwriting awards, and five of the Top 100 Christian radio singles of the past decade. They are known for their songs, "Arise, My Love," "Miracles," "Jesus To The World (Roaring Lambs), and "The Christmas Shoes," which was also the title of their first Christmas Album.

With such success, it would have been easy to bask in the glow of the spotlight. "But it really wasn't about us," says Eddie Carswell. "It was pretty amazing to see how God orchestrated it all, and it took us completely by surprise.

Billy Goodman explains the group's faith attitude, "The commitment that we made was, 'God, we'll do this as long as Your hand is on it, as long as we see You working.'" He went on to say "God is faithful even when things look impossible."

Besides having a touring ministry they have also started their Jam event tours where many top name Christian Artists come together for evening concerts at a price that is affordable.

"I think what keeps us going is not necessarily the fun we have with the music, but it's that time at the end of the evening when we see people respond," Goodwin explains. "It's like a shot of adrenaline. It's amazing to see God use what little bit we're doing to reach people. That's really our motivation."

"We still love what we're doing and it's always incredible to hear how God has used our music to touch someone's life," Carswell concludes. "God's the one orchestrating this whole thing, and he's blessed us more and more as the years have gone by. It's a remarkable thing to see how it all works out, and we'll just keep riding the waves to see what God wants to do next."

Former Members

  • Scotty Wilbanks ... Piano, Saxaphone (1993-2000, 2004-2005)
  • Drew Cline ... Vocals (2006-2008)
  • Michael O'Brien ... Vocals (1999-2006)
  • Clay Crosse ... Vocals, Guitar (2002)
  • Steve Reischl ... Vocals, Guitar (1999-2002)
  • Russ Lee ... Vocals (1994-2000)
  • Charles Billingsley ... Vocals (1994)
  • Eddie Middleton ... Vocals (until 1993)
  • Bobby Apon ... Vocals (until 1993)
  • Nate Sallie ... Vocals - (2007-2009)


  • Swallow The Ocean Christmas Edition - 2015
  • Faithful: Live Worship - 2015
  • Swallow The Ocean - 2013
  • One True God - 2011
  • Give Yourself Away - 2009
  • The Christmas Hope - 2006
  • Rescue - 2005
  • The Very Best Of Newsong - 2005
  • More Life - 2003
  • The Christmas Shoes - 2001
  • Sheltering Tree - 2000
  • Arise My Love - 1999
  • Love Revolution - 1996
  • People Get Ready - 1994
  • One Heart at a Time: The Best of NewSong - 1994
  • All Around the World - 1993
  • Living Proof - 1991
  • Light Your World - 1989
  • Say Yes! - 1987
  • Trophies of Grace - 1986
  • The Word - 1984
  • Son in My Eyes - 1982
  • More Than Music - 1981

Starter Songs

  • "Arise My Love"
  • "Back Where You Belong"
  • "Forever King"
  • "Heaven is You"
  • "My Heart's Already There"
  • "Only The Hands"
  • "The Christmas Shoes"
  • "Your Favorite Name"

Fun Facts

  • The 2002 CBS movie-of-the-week "The Christmas Shoes" was based on their song.

News & Notes


mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Jones, Kim. "Getting to Know Christian Pop Band Newsong." Learn Religions, Sep. 7, 2021, Jones, Kim. (2021, September 7). Getting to Know Christian Pop Band Newsong. Retrieved from Jones, Kim. "Getting to Know Christian Pop Band Newsong." Learn Religions. (accessed April 2, 2023).