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Music: Derek Mount from Family Force 5

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 2 - Issue 1)

Family Force 5 is not your typical Christian band. Robots, mullets, keytars, and silly dances are all part of this Atlanta based band’s repertoire. The fun times are firmly on display in their newest release REANIMATED. In the middle of this good time vibe, you will find five guys serious about showing the love of Christ to others. David from Greenville In One Accord recently had the opportunity to find out more about the faith and mission behind guitarist Derek Mount (Aka: Chap Stique).

GIOA: Are you doing well today?

Derek: Doing very well. Yeah! We’re at the Creation Festival in Shirleysburg, PA watching Chris Tomlin sound check right now. It’s cool. Doing great.

GIOA: We’re starting a new faith series, and you are lucky number one! How would you describe your faith? Some may say a believer, a follower, a Christian, etc.

Derek: Yes, I would say Christian as well. We are all followers of Christ!

GIOA: Where are you originally from?

Derek: I was born in the STL, St. Louis, but met the band in the ATL. So, Atlanta is where the band started and where most of the guys are from. We’ve all kind of moved around here and there. I was just in L.A. for the last five years. Our drummer is in Nashville, but we’re still Atlanta based. That’s home. You know, that’s headquarters.

GIOA: Was faith a big thing in your family growing up?

Derek: Yes, it was. I was very blessed with a wonderful set of parents and an amazing sister. They definitely raised us in some great churches, and we moved around a lot. Therefore we were able to see very, very different parts of the country, worship in very, very different ways. It was kind of a unique experience. You know, we went from a Baptist church to a Lutheran church to a Methodist church to you name it... we’ve been in it... and it’s pretty eye opening and awesome. I really appreciate it, and I’m very thankful for all the different perspectives that I was able to see.

GIOA: What kind of church are you involved in now?

Derek: We go to a church in Atlanta called Kairos. I guess you would call it a non-denominational church, but its roots would be Presbyterian. I guess it is somewhat progressive and different from the normal Presbyterian Church, and it’s awesome!

GIOA: What is your salvation story?

Derek: Ah, man. Well, I think that’s a great question that evolves and changes as time goes. You know, in the church for some reason, we always want to hear of this one moment where we had this shattering revelation and experience… some kind of nirvana-like experience. I think what’s awesome is that’s happened several times in my life. As I’ve grown… I’ve connected with God in different ways, and I’ve realized how amazing God is… in unique, in new ways. I got baptized at a church camp when I was twelve years old. I had a pretty amazing conversation with the counselor that just really kind of helped shape and guide some of the changes I was going through at that point and I made a commitment, but where it really started to set in was a little later in life during my sophomore year of high school. There was a really amazing guy at my church named Jason who was very into discipleship, and he poured his heart and time into me, as well as some of my peers. I just found this great community between them and the youth minister at our church, who was very proactive in all of our lives. Through those relationships, we explored a whole lot more depth about God’s character and I was able to resonate in a different way there. Those were some pretty formative years for me that I would say were a very big part of my salvation story. I studied religion in college as well and academically really enjoyed pressing forward. It set in some amazing habits. I mean, every single day I read something, and it’s usually theology or philosophy or a new book, and I’m really enjoying the journey. There are some mountaintop experiences that I could certainly point to, and I think a lot of people would consider those moments to be the zenith of my salvation story, but what’s great is that a year later we’re overseas and worshiping with people in another language, and it’s like “Oh, my gosh! This is incredible!” Those moments take you to a new place in your relationship with God, and it keeps growing and changing.

GIOA: You mentioned a couple spiritual mentors or examples you have. Is there anybody else particular that you would say has really been a guide growing up?

Derek: My sister has been a very big part of my spiritual walk. Her name is Michelle. She’s just very bright and very sharp. In many ways we’re very opposite from one another, and that’s challenged me in a great way to kind of be open and perceptive. Our journeys have been very different but we’re always kind of comparing and contrasting things and talking and sharing. I would definitely say she is the iron trying to sharpen the iron in my life. Definitely her, and… man, I don’t know. I mean, I know it sounds silly but a lot of times music is a big part of my encounter with God. Whether that’s through a quiet time, or at a concert, or just writing or creating it. I feel like sometimes it’s not even a person as much as a song that takes me to a new place and opens up new possibilities with God. So, sometimes I just grab my headphones and find a quite place, close my eyes, and connect.

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