Group of students wearing lanyards smile while enjoying Cedarville's Revive event

Lincoln Brewster

Today is the Day

Lincoln Brewster

Lincoln Brewster began playing music at a young age and attained a level of success before he was 22 that many musicians never reach. But he realized very early in his career that he wanted more than success in this world. Lincoln wanted to play his guitar and sing songs that would help bring souls closer to Christ... he wanted his music to make a difference.

Born in Fairbanks, Alaska to young parents whose marriage did not survive, Lincoln first showed his musical ability at age one and a half, keeping remarkably good time with a pair of broken drumsticks during his mother Cheryl's band practice.

The family moved to the small, coastal town of Homer, where Lincoln and his brother and sister grew up playing on the beach and where Lincoln often played the mandolin for cruise ship tourists. His mother eventually remarried, but their home life was plagued by domestic problems and alcoholism. It was a tough life for a young child, but Lincoln's musical talents continued to grow in spite the tumultuous environment. He was an eager student, and Cheryl often took him for lessons from guitarists who played the local clubs. Without fail, these impromptu instructors were always impressed with Lincoln's ability.

At the age of 12, he had formed his first band, "Lincoln and the Missing Links" and by the time he was 14, he was writing and recording his own compositions. He did a few radio commercials and started making demos.

The family relocated to Modesto, California, where Lincoln spent hours in his room, perfecting his craft. It was there that he recorded an instrumental demo that opened the door for a meeting in Los Angeles with Dave Weiderman, Artist Relations Manager for Guitar Center. Weiderman was so impressed, that he sent Lincoln, tape in hand, to meet with a Sony A&R rep named Randy Jackson (of "American Idol" fame).

During this time, Lincoln began attending church with his high school sweetheart and future wife, Laura. It was at this time, while in LA and alone at a friend's apartment, Lincoln accepted Jesus Christ into his heart.

Lincoln left LA and returned home to his "normal" life. But, one afternoon while practicing his guitar, he received a call from Steve Perry, the former lead vocalist for Journey. Unable to believe his mother when she announced the caller, Lincoln later found out that Randy Jackson had passed his demo tape on to Perry who liked what he heard.

Lincoln's path was about to change... At the ripe old age of 19, he gave up his day job at a local store, moved to L.A. and was catapulted into the world of a rock star. One day, he was a clerk behind a counter, the next he was in rehearsals with a legend. Within months, he was co-writing and recording Perry's solo project For The Love Of Strange Medicine and leaving to go on a nationwide tour with one of the biggest names in rock/pop history.

Lincoln decided that another big change was in order as well. He and Laura were married in April of 1994, just a few months before he left to go on the road.

Although it was the opportunity of a lifetime for a young man, the tour life left him unfulfilled and empty. Referring to the fans who crowded the stage nightly, Lincoln says, "We were receiving all of the worship… that's just not what my life is about."

So, when the tour ended, Lincoln decided to make another life change, turning down all other offers from mainstream bands. Instead, he and Laura moved back to Modesto where he took a job at his local church as "the technical guy," running the house sound system when only a few months before he had played guitar in front of thousands of people. It was one of the hardest decisions that he'd made, impacting not only his career in mainstream music, but his paycheck as well. Money was tight, but Lincoln and Laura kept their faith that God would provide. And, He did. This job would prove to be a key training ground for Lincoln as he eventually started leading worship for the church's youth group. "I just knew that God had created me to do this. Every fiber of my being was saying YES! This is it!"

It wasn't long before God revealed what His next plan was for Lincoln. He and Laura moved to Nashville to help start a church. It was a leap of faith, and for the first two months they were there, they slept on the church floor while they looked for a place to live. They spent three years in Nashville, preparing for whatever God had in store next. During that time, Lincoln also toured with GRAMMY Award-winning Christian music artist Michael W. Smith. He also signed a recording contract with Integrity Music and released a self-titled debut album in 1999.

In that same year, Lincoln was offered a job that took the couple back to California and closer to their families. Bayside Church near Sacramento hired Lincoln to head up their music ministry and it was a perfect fit. Shortly after, Lincoln and Laura started a family of their own – welcoming sons Levi in 2001 and Liam in 2004.

The young family flourished in the Bayside community and, he was blessed to be able to fulfill his duties as Worship Arts Pastor while also touring and recording with Integrity. In 2000, he released Live to Worship followed by Amazed in 2002, All to You – Live in 2005 and Let The Praises Ring – The Best of Lincoln Brewster in 2006.

Then, in early 2007, Lincoln attained his first #1 Christian radio hit when the song "Everlasting God" from Let the Praises Ring hit the top of the chart and stayed there for 4 weeks. At the same time, his song "Love The Lord" climbed to #3, giving him two songs in the top 20 at the same time.

His latest album, Today is the Day, is a 10-track studio album that has been hailed by critics as his best effort to date. The project offers new songs ranging from meditative worship ballads to rocking praise such as the title song, which Lincoln co-wrote with Dove Award winner Paul Baloche. Other guest writers include Glenn Packiam of New Life Worship and Mia Fieldes of Sydney's Hillsong Church. Released in the fall of 2008, the album has already produced two more radio hits – the title song and the powerful anthem, "God You Reign."

When asked about the radio success, he says with a smile, "It's not why I do it or what it's all about, but it does feel encouraging."

In addition to guest songwriters, Lincoln is joined vocally on Today is the Day by two of Christian music's top talents – Grammy Award winner Israel Houghton and renowned Hillsong worship leader Darlene Zschech.

Houghton teams with Lincoln, whom he refers to as "Funky Brewster," on the gospel rocker, "Give Him Praise" while Zschech can be heard on "The Power of Your Name," a heart-felt plea for the Church to help bring healing to a broken world. The song, which was co-written by Lincoln and Mia Fieldes, features guest appearances by the youngest and oldest of the Brewster clan via a recording of Lincoln's youngest son‘s pre-natal heartbeat and guest keyboardist "Grandma Nancy," yet another accomplished family musician. Lincoln recalls the first time he heard the powerful song after Zschech had recorded her vocals. "She called me from Australia and played it for me over the phone, and by the time it was done, I was in tears."

While still serving as the Worship Arts Pastor, the Bayside Church staff support Lincoln as he tours and makes guest appearances at churches, festivals and events around across the country. His love for what he does is obvious. When he steps in front of a room of full of people, he involves the audience in his music, teaching the songs to them, inviting them to sing along. He shares his heart like an open book and teaches as he plays, talking about his personal journey with God and the faithfulness he's found. As one woman put it, "Lincoln's music is life-changing. It's so amazing to see how his music can bring Christ into a life, one song, just one time and it changes everything."

Lincoln knows he is blessed. "I'm truly grateful to be able to do what I do. I know I don't deserve it, but I am committed to doing my best with what God has put before me."