Although it was worship leader Chris Tomlin who first made the praise anthem “God of This City” popular in the United States, it was actually written by a group of Irish lads known as Bluetree.
Lead singer Aaron Boyd first penned the song during a mission trip to Pattava, Thailand. He was inspired by the impoverished state (spiritual and financial) of the people living there, a place best known for its booming sex trade. The powerful chorus displayed that there can still be hope amidst the depravity that existed, “greater things have yet to come/and greater things are still to be done in this city.”
Currently based in Belfast, a city marked by violent outbursts and faithlessness, Bluetree is comprised of Aaron, along with Conor McCrory (guitars), Pete Kernoghan (dee-jay), Jonny Hobson (drums) and Pete Nickell (bass). They serve up innovative, rock-infused praise songs with a social conscience that connect with believers and non-believers alike.
Not content to simply “talk the talk” without “walking the walk,” the band recently launched a charity called “Stand Out International” that helps kids escape the bondage of sexual slavery by “building upon the platform of worship, music and justice.”
The band's latest project Kingdom is album aimed towards building up the body of Christ,“With the songs on Kingdom, we wanted to build up the church. We can see people released—and set free—from what they’re walking through because of what Jesus did,” Aaron says. “At the end of the day, church shouldn’t be about agendas or flashy programs. If people aren’t encountering God, we’re missing the whole point, and church becomes just another social club. That’s why I’ve wanted to pour everything I have into the Body and say ‘God, here’s all I’ve got. Whatever you want to do, I’m here.”