Meet Geoff Moore & the Distance

One listen to the music of Geoff Moore & The Distance—gritty, bare-bones, heartland pop-rock ala Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, or John Mellencamp—conjures up images of a no-nonsense, blue-collar band. And that’s exactly what they are.

Frontman Geoff Moore grew up in Michigan, part of a hard-working, Christ-centered family. Growing up, he intended to continue his family’s steel business, even though it meant a lifetime of hard, dirty work.

Things began to change, however, when he went away to Taylor University. At school he suddenly became enamored with music, particularly rock ’n’ roll. Unfortunately, most of the lyrics glamorized things he personally rejected. But then he discovered Christian rock music, and it literally changed his life. Even though Geoff had never played an instrument, never taken voice lessons, and couldn’t read music, he began performing with a band at variety shows and Youth for Christ meetings. He saw first-hand the power of music to communicate with people of varying backgrounds.

Upon graduation, Geoff got married and returned home to work for his father. But after serious prayer and soul-searching with his wife, Jan, he realized that his heart was set on establishing a music ministry. The couple took a risk and moved to Nashville, where Geoff teamed with bassist Gary Mullet, keyboardist Geof Barkley, drummer Chuck Conner, and guitarist Joel McCreight to form one of the most popular bands in contemporary Christian music.

Seven early recordings from 1984–1990 built up a loyal following, but the breakthrough album was 1992’s A Friend Like U, which earned the hard-working rockers a Grammy Award nomination. On the albums that followed, they burned up the charts with hit singles, racked up numerous Grammy and Dove Award nominations, and won the coveted Billboard Music Award for Best Contemporary Christian Video of the Year. Geoff also earned the 1993 Song of the Year Dove Award for "The Great Adventure," co-written with long-time friend Steven Curtis Chapman. The band’s newest recording, Threads, is their most acclaimed to date, but apparently it’ll also be their last. Geoff plans to part ways with The Distance to focus more on his personal ministry.

"Threads, both the album and the tour, has opened up the ministry floodgates," he says. "I am really excited about the opportunities in front of me because there has been such purpose of ministry through all of it and God has allowed me to build relationships with numerous ministry partners. We are looking at several opportunities . . . that I could not have previously considered over the past 12 years due to the heavy tour season with The Distance."

Of course, reduced touring will also allow Geoff to spend more time with Jan and their two sons, Joshua and Justin—the most exciting opportunity of all.

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