Growing past the folksy Jesus Music of a couple decades earlier, in the '90s Christian rock took off. Charting on mainstream lists and becoming a key recruitment tool for churches looking to entice a younger congregation, Christian rock was a defining part of the music scene in the 1990s and some of the best Christian rock bands came from that era.
The formation of Christian rock record labels like Tooth & Nail in 1993 matched with bands like MxPx and P.O.D., while more contemporary Christian labels like ForeFront were homes to Audio Adrenaline and Skillet. The success of these labels pushed Christian rock out of a perceived niche and towards a mainstream audience. For Christian millennials, the wide range of Christian rock bands that emerged in the '90s allowed a freedom to explore subculture and identity with their friends who weren't in the church. Artists Newsboys and dc Talk had poppy crossover appeal while Underoath let '90s kids enjoy heavy rock and Jesus at the same time.
We've put together a list of some of the best '90s Christian rock acts, but if we're missing one be sure to add it to the list and vote up the best Christian rock bands and artists of the 1990s.
- DC Talk (stylized as dc Talk) is a Christian rap and rock trio. The group was formed at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1987 by Toby McKeehan, Michael Tait, and Kevin Max Smith. They ...more
- Newsboys (sometimes stylised as newsboys) are a Christian rock band founded in 1985 in Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia by Peter Furler and George Perdikis. The band has released 17 studio albums, 6 ...more
- Skillet is a Christian rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1996 and based in the United States. The band currently consists of husband and wife John and Korey Cooper, along with Jen Ledger and ...more
- Audio Adrenaline is a Christian rock band that formed in the mid 1980s at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Kentucky. The band has received two Grammy Awards and multiple Dove Awards. They ...more
- Jars of Clay is a Christian rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. They met at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois.Jars of Clay consists of Dan Haseltine on vocals, Charlie Lowell on piano and ...more
- Switchfoot is an American rock band from San Diego, California. The band's members are Jon Foreman (lead vocals, guitar), Tim Foreman (bass guitar, backing vocals), Chad Butler (drums, percussion), ...more
- Third Day is a Christian rock band formed in Marietta, Georgia during the 1990s. The band was founded by lead singer Mac Powell, guitarist Mark Lee and former member Billy Wilkins. The other band ...more
- Petra is a music group regarded as a pioneer of the Christian rock and contemporary Christian music genres. Formed in 1972, the band took its name from the Greek word for "rock". Though they ...more
- Payable on Death (abbreviated P.O.D.) is an American Christian nu metal band formed in 1992 and based in San Diego, California. The band's line-up consists of vocalist Sonny Sandoval, drummer and ...more
- The Orange County Supertones (a.k.a. The O.C. Supertones, or simply The Supertones) were a Christian ska band from Orange County, California. The band was signed to Tooth & Nail Records and its ...more
- Five Iron Frenzy is a Christian ska band formed in Denver, Colorado in 1995, disbanded in 2003, then reunited again in 2011. The band released a new single and announced they were recording ...more
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- Bleach is an American Christian-rock band based in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Sixpence None the Richer (also known as Sixpence) is an American Christian alternative rock band that formed in New Braunfels, Texas, eventually settling in Nashville, Tennessee. They are best known ...more
- Disciple is a Christian metal / rock band from Knoxville, Tennessee, formed in 1992.
- Blindside is a rock band from Tumba, Sweden. They formed in the Christian metal scene in Stockholm in 1994 as Underfree and released the EP Empty Box with Day-Glo Records before changing their name ...more
- Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, better known by her stage name Plumb, is a songwriter, recording artist, performer and author. Plumb has sold more than 500,000 albums and over two million singles worldwide, ...more
- Stryper is an American Christian metal band from Orange County, California. The group's lineup consists of Michael Sweet (lead vocals, guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Perry Richardson (bass guitar), and ...more
- MxPx is an American punk rock band from Bremerton, Washington founded in 1992 as Magnified Plaid. The band has skate punk leanings, with connections to the pop punk and formerly the Christian punk ...more
- Project 86 is an American rock band from Orange County, California, formed in 1996. The band has released eight albums, which have collectively sold nearly 500,000 units worldwide, two EPs, two DVDs, ...more
- Smalltown Poets is a Christian rock band formed in 1996. It was formed in Tifton, Georgia by high school friends Michael Johnston, Danny Stephens, and Byron Goggin, along with Nashville musicians ...more
- Michael Whitaker Smith (born October 7, 1957) is an American musician, who has charted in both contemporary Christian and mainstream charts. His biggest success in mainstream music was in 1991 when ...more
- The Waiting is a Christian alternative pop rock band, consisting of Brad Olsen, Todd Olsen, Clark Leake, and Brandon Thompson. Since the members focus time on other aspects of their lives and take ...more
- Whitecross is a Christian metal band that formed in 1985 in Waukegan, IL releasing their first recording in 1987. Their early albums, which often invite comparisons to Ratt, are laced with fast, ...more
- Bride were an American Christian rock band formed in the 1980s, by brothers Dale and Troy Thompson. During the band's peak years it was known for covering a wide range of musical styles and remains ...more