Christian Music News

Sanctus Real's Matt Hammitt announces departure from band

Nashville, Tenn. - After a 20 year history together, GRAMMY nominations, Dove Awards, seven albums and six No. 1 singles, Matt Hammitt, the lead singer of Sanctus Real, has announced he will be leaving the band this December. Both Matt and his fellow band members have taken time to draft personal statements so that their fans can hear from them first hand and in their own words.

The band has announced their “Farewell To A Friend” tour this fall, which will be Hammitt’s final tour with the band. Sparrow Records will release a Greatest Hits project from Sanctus Real this October, featuring the band’s top hits over their 20 year career and a new single, which will release in the fall as well.

Matt Hammitt (read statement in full here):

There isn't nearly enough space to recount or describe what I've experienced with my friends in Sanctus Real over the past twenty years. I'm so grateful for what God has allowed a few guys from Toledo, Ohio to experience together. I don't take it lightly, the ability that songs have to impact the hearts and lives of those who hear them. Experiencing this God-given mystery with my friends in the band has been one of the greatest joys of my life.

I want to thank my band mates, current and former, but especially Mark and Chris for allowing me to share in this incredible season of life with them. And of course, to our families, you are the backbone God has blessed us with. Thank you for holding down the fort. I love and appreciate you.

Over the past few months, I've felt the Lord calling me into a new mission field, into a new season of life. If you want to hear the intricate details about my decision to leave Sanctus Real, I've discussed it at length in the first two episodes of my new podcast "The Lead Me Lifecast." I open each episode by saying that, "I've been traveling far and wide singing the song 'Lead Me', but now I want to sing it less and live it more." I mean that genuinely, with all of my heart. I've always struggled to reconcile my life on the road away from Sarah and the kids, but after all these years I'm now confident that my calling is to be at home more, consistently making God and family my ultimate priority. My primary gifting as a communicator is simply sharing my life and heart with people, and they're going to get the best of that.

Your support has meant so much to me, and I'm inviting you to join my mission moving forward - click here to read more about this decision and how you can join me.

- Matt

Chris Rohman also wanted to share thoughts on behalf of he and the rest of the band on Matt's departure and the future of Sanctus Real (read statement in full here);

Many incredible people have given their talents to this band and without their support and sacrifice we would never have made it out of my parent’s basement, out of Ohio, or maybe more importantly to me, out of my own head. You see to have a dream requires a belief that you can achieve something bigger than anything you could hope for by yourself. And for Mark and I we could have never had this dream of Sanctus Real without Matt. We were three wide-eyed kids with hopes of blazing a trail and reaching people with the Gospel when we signed a record deal fourteen years ago. And now we’re three men blessed to see the impact all these years of writing songs and traveling the country have made. We’re husbands and fathers with a responsibility to sow into our families the same love and faith that caused us to come together as a band of believers in the first place.

It is with this responsibility in mind that Matt first came to us distressed by the balance of life lived out on the road and a life being played out at home while being gone. For each of us this balance has been a delicate lesson to learn over years of touring and countless goodbyes to our loved ones. Add to this the fact that Matt and his wife Sarah have a son with congenital heart disease and the balance can become nearly impossible.

So you can imagine after almost 20 years of experiencing God move within our tight-knit little world how difficult it might be to watch one of us being called out of it. And after many deep conversations, though I know this conclusion did not come easy, all of us as brothers feel it is the right decision for Matt and his family.

As for the rest of the band… This is a time for us to ask you to pray for us. We have a passion to use the platform of Sanctus Real to write new music that will continue to influence not just the church world, but reach well beyond anything we could imagine and offer hope to the lost and weary wherever they are. Some may say it’s just music. But to me it couldn’t be anything more. Music filled with the Holy Spirit speaks to my soul, it’s what moves me and it’s a gift God uses to bring incredible life-change to those that hear it.

- Chris

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