On the heels of their latest worship release – “The Depth of Your Love” – Sixteen Cities are more determined than ever before in their pursuit of leading genuine worship and serving the church. With a healthy batch of new songs and an insatiable desire to see the Gospel transform their generation, the ministry of Sixteen Cities is moving forward full speed. Originally hewn from the Pacific Northwest, the band now leads worship faithfully at their home church in Dallas, Texas (The Heights Baptist Church) and spends the rest of their time traveling around the country for the sake of the kingdom of God. “After four studio albums and a decade in the Christian music industry, we’ve recognized that our primary calling is not to make fans of Sixteen Cities, but to make disciples of Jesus”, says lead singer Josiah Warneking, “and that’s why the heartbeat of our band is to point others to the glory and grace of Jesus Christ.”
The story of Sixteen Cities begins in one of the least-churched cities in the nation, where singer Josiah Warneking and guitarist Josh Miller met as freshmen in high school in Portland, Oregon. “We went to our first See You At The Pole and there were only four students at a school of 3,000,” says Miller “so we decided to reach out to our peers by starting a student-led worship service on Wednesday mornings before school”. After just a few months, their ministry went from just a handful of students to well over a hundred meeting every week.
By their senior year, over 500 students attended their school’s See You At the Pole and it was obvious that God had moved in a powerful way during their high school years. Soon after graduating, the ministry of Sixteen Cities was formed. “We left behind college scholarships and full time careers to pursue the calling of God on our lives” says Josiah Warneking, “and that calling has lasted more than a decade”. The band created two independent albums before signing a record deal with Centricity Music in 2010 and subsequently released three studio albums with several songs that climbed the charts on Christian radio worldwide.
Drummer Chad McCutchen joined the band in 2011 amidst a tour schedule that kept the band on the road more than 250 days a year. “Those long days on the road were extremely formative for us,” says McCutchen “and we quickly learned how much we needed the grace of God”. Fueled by a desire to grow and flourish as a ministry, the band began searching for a church home. “We wanted to find a church where we could have community and partner together in ministry,” says Josiah Warneking, “so in 2012, we moved our families across the country – from Portland, Oregon to Dallas, Texas – to become members and worship leaders at The Heights Baptist Church”. Since then, the band has recorded and released their first full-length worship album called “The Depth of Your Love” and are eager for the future God has laid before them.