Jan 01, 1983

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Band Members:

Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Keyboards, Vocals
Lead Guitar
Bass, Keyboards, Vocals

Original founding members Dennis Willard and John Hughes formed what would go on to become a lifelong friendship, brotherhood, and a 28 year musical partnership resulting in a band that has brought to its listening audiences influences ranging from the pop rock sounds of The Beatles and The Eagles, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, Journey, and Styx, to the soulful R & B sounds of artists such as Bob Seger and The Allman Brothers to the southern rock sounds of legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blackfoot. 

It all began in 1981 at a summer church youth camp called Big Ridge under the visionary leadership of Filmore Strunk, senior pastor of Central Baptist Church of Oak Ridge, Tn. It was from this powerful platform and foundation that the songwriting duo would find themselves forming a band with fellow high school buddies Chris Latham, Tim Fischer, Brian Fisher, David Williams, Todd McCoig and Jeff Stooksbury. This original group of individuals would be just the beginning of a legacy of talented musicians who have been called, and gifted to serve, in a ministry called Exodus...trax 

Each member has made very special contributions to the band and its ministry as have so many others throughout the years. Most have been called on to pursue other professional successful careers. Here is just a glimpse of some of the success stories... 

Chris Latham, lead guitarist, was formerly married to Trisha Yearwood whom he met at Belmont College in Nashville. He is an executive record producer with EMI Publishing-Nashville. Tim Fischer, drummer, is currently head project manager for the Department of Energy and heads up the K-25 nuclear waste cleanup at Oak Ridge. Brian Fisher, bassist, is an electronics engineer in New York. Dave Williams, lead guitarist, is one the nation's leading lab scientists at Oak Ridge National Lab, Oak Ridge, Tn. Todd McCoig, lead guitarist, is founder and president of Audio Media Group, based in Knoxville and produces projects for various artists such as Lee Ann Rimes and others. Jeff Stooksbury, bassist, is an EMT and Firefighter in Knoxville, Tn. 

Performing every weekend at area clubs such as The Extension and Azlan's Lair, the band grew quickly in popularity. After signing a record deal with Morada Records in Nashville and Los Angeles, and touring extensively throughout the Southeast--things moved at lightning speed within the first year for a band that was virtually unknown and whose roster consisted simply of a group of teenagers approaching high school graduation. 

Mentored by two area Oak Ridge youth pastors, Fred Garmon and Martin Fischer, the band, partnering with area churches and youth groups, had a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of young people in the region. Dr. Fred Garmon is now the Executive Director/President of People for Care and Learning in Cleveland, Tennessee. Dr. Garmon, along with wife and ministry partner, Shirley, co-pastored a powerful ministry serving ten years as senior pastor at Heritage Fellowship in Oak Ridge, formerly known as Oak Ridge Church of God, previously pastored by James and Betty Bandy. The Bandy's, serving over thirty years of ministry at Oak Ridge, were powerful leaders reaching the Oak Ridge area and were instumental as mentors to Fred Garmon when he was youth pastor at ORCG. 

Martin Fischer, visionary founder and senior pastor of High Places Church located in the historic Grove Theatre at Grove Center Plaza, has been a pioneer in reaching out to inner city youth and serving thousands through various community programs and projects in the Oak Ridge/Knoxville area. Martin, along with younger brother Tim, continue to have a tremendous impact for Christ in the Oak Ridge Community and surrounding region. Some of Martin's mentors were the Rev. Filmore Strunk and Rev. Bob Gray at Central Baptist Church of Oak Ridge. 

Opening in concert for the legendary Mylon LeFevre and Broken Heart, David Meece, Andrus Blackwood and Co. and many others, a following for the band's songs developed very quickly with songs like Praise to the Father, Promised Land, Greater and How Do You Feel, released on debut album The Turning Point in 1983 on the Morada Records label. 

Instrumental in securing the recording deal for the band, was Norbert Stoval, founder and owner of Big Mama Recording Studios, Tennessee Production Center, Big Mama's Kareoke Cafe, and ChartBusters Music. Stoval along with Al Wright, one of the top sound engineers in the industry, co-produced the Morada project with the band. 

Mylon LeFevre, whose successes in addition to his band Broken Heart, included playing and recording with rock greats such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and even Elvis Presley. At age 12 Mylon's song "Without Him" climbed to number one on the charts after being recorded by Presley and remains in the baptist hymnal worldwide today. LeFevre would be instrumental in helping the band reach a turning point in its early career. 

Mylon, who recorded with Alvin Lee of Ten Years After ( Woodstock fame), reached out to the group along with cousin, Melvin Whittington, by inviting them to attend his ministry called Airborn, in Atlanta. This event would prove to be pivotal in propelling the band on to later success. The christian rock pioneer's influences can be be found still to this day in the music and production style of the group. 

Following years of recording studios, live appearances, and songwriting, John Hughes, Dennis Willard and David Williams stayed together to form their own publishing company and record label entitled "Boardroom Records". Within the first year of forming Boardroom Records, the band released its post 911 project "Tribute to the Troops", a patriotic two-song cd featuring the songs-- "America, I'm Calling You" and "We Shall Stand". 

Following the band's "Tribute" cd, the group would land right back in the studio and soon release its latest project entitled, "Take It to the World", recorded on Boardroom Records. Singles from this project included Paradise, Lets Ride, Only Jesus, It Was Love, Our God, and many more. 

After years of ministry and music, many fans dating back as far as the days of The Extension, as well as many new listeners, are rediscovering the band's popular classic christian rock sound all over again. 

Exodus Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2014, from Facebook website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/EXODUS/123887310970831

Created by: siremidor on 26-July-2010 - Last Edited by admin on 07-January-2016

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