Christian rock band’s trailer stolen but not the group’s dreams

by Jim Boyle

Hyland, a melodic Christian rock band about to release its first album and set out on two monthlong national tours, has suffered a major setback.

One of the band’s members, Ben Early, reported the group’s trailer containing all of its equipment and merchandise was stolen sometime between 10:30 p.m. on March 3 and  2:30 p.m. on March 5 from The Crossing Church parking lot along School Street in Elk River, according to Elk River Police Capt. Bob Kluntz.

Early, a native of Zimmerman, was a worship leader at The Crossing, where all of his bandmates have performed, too, but is now pursuing the group’s dream of hitting the big time in the Christian rock music industry.

“We believe God is going to do something through all of this,” said Jon Lewis, the band’s lead vocalist and songwriter. “Our record deal was definitely a God thing. We knew things were out of our control at that point, and now things are way out of our control. God works through adversity.”

The band, which has a record deal with Tooth and Nail Records out of Seattle Wash., had to perform an acoustic show the night after learning of the theft.

“I needed to get up and play for people that cared about us and get the sense of being overwhelmed out of me,” said Lewis, a native of North Branch.

Early and Lewis, along with band mates Steve Weigel of Princeton and Mitch Hansen of Cambridge, have begun raising funds to replace their equipment and merchandise. Their fan base has come through with $6,000 already, and their record label provided them with 500 CDs to sell free of charge.

Their 12-song album will be released in May. Hyland’s first single, “This Love is Free,” plays on about 300 radio stations across the country.

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