The Blessed Hope
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The Blessed Hope

Band Rock Punk


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Struggling with life? Look on the bright side. The Blessed Hope provides a listening ear and optimistic outlook for teens and young adults who are hurting.

The Cornerstone University based band includes sophomore Andrew vandenBerg (bass), John Stockdale (lead vocals and guitar) and junior Mike Cervantes (drums). They all have a passion for helping people who are hurting socially and emotionally.

“Our ministry is reaching out to the hurting,” said vandenBerg. “We’re basing a lot of our ministry off of the Beatitudes. We want to be the hand that reaches out to people that are having a hard time with life. Their families might be falling apart and nobody cares and they might be dealing with suicidal situations, and we want to be there for them and give them hope.

“We’ve all had situations that have been tough in our lives, and our hearts really go out to these people that are hurting.”

Stockdale has been there himself.

“Sex, drugs and rock-and-roll,” he said. “You name it, one of us has probably been through it. At least me, because I’ve been through most all of it.”

He believes the band members can use their life stories of overcoming struggles to offer hope for teens.

“If there’s anything that kids that age would look up to, it’s a band because that’s the only thing they can relate to, and it’s the only thing that they can go to and find comfort in,” Stockdale said. “If we can be a band that kids look up to and hear the songs and things we sing about that we’ve gone through, we can tell them we’ve been through it too, but this is how we overcame it. That’s our open door for ministry.”

The Blessed Hope is not about reaching out to Christians who have already found their hope in Christ, but unbelievers who are searching to fill a void in their lives.

“We don’t want to be like a sugar-coated, polished-looking, contemporary Christian music band,” Cervantes said. “Jesus went to the sinners, and our music is for the sinners. We’re looking to be a Christian band in the secular industry.

“I feel like God’s calling us to not just be in the church and Christian ministry. Our ministry is outside of that. We’re being called to be outside of the church and Christian music industry. More so to be missionaries rather than pastors.”

Stockdale explained how the band is designing their songs and outreach program.

“The kids who are on drugs get turned off to Christian music,” he said, “whereas we are targeting them with our music.”

The community at CU provides a supportive environment for this mission.

“At Cornerstone, people understand the whole idea of putting people in secular areas of life,” Cervantes said.

The lyrics play a crucial role in The Blessed Hope’s mission to target a distraught market and bring a God-given sense of hope.

“We decided early on that if we were going to do this band, the lyrics needed to be as important as the music,” Stockdale said. “It was something that we wanted to be really important, and we wanted it to be a Christian band. We needed inspiration to write the lyrics, and they are really personal. It’s real. Everything in the lyrics is real.”

Stockdale grew up loving secular music, and now that is the channel he is using with his band to reach unbelievers. However, he is blending it with a Christian approach, which he developed an interest for because of a punishment.

“When I was younger, I would get in trouble, and my parents would take away my [secular] music, but then I found a lot of cool Christian bands, and that was really cool to me,” Stockdale said. “They loved God, and that set them apart from other bands.”

Now Stockdale is in a band that is blending the norms of Christian and secular bands. And eventually, The Blessed Hope would like to grow so they can reach many people with their positive message.

- Cornerstone University Herald


currently working on pre-production for our record set to be released early 2009.



After playing in other bands, Mike and John joined up with Andrew and formed The Blessed Hope. Started this band because we share the same passion for reaching out to people that feel they have nothing or no one to go to with their problems and are loosing hope.

We want to help restore hope to people and show them there is a better way, and that way is Jesus Christ. That is why we write our songs based off our own experiences. This way people can see that we've been through a lot and that we have made it through with God's help.