Michael Passons, a founding member of CCM band Avalon who left the Christian band 17 years ago, is opening up about his departure from the group. Passons revealed during Wednesday's episode of Jonah and the Whale podcast that his same-sex attraction ultimately lead to his being ousted from the group.
Recalling his exit to host Josh Skinner, Passons said that he was confronted by his former bandmates on June 30, 2003, to leave Avalon. "Avalon showed up at my house and told me I was no longer in the group," he said. "And it was all because of who I am.They came alone, but they had been speaking with management and record label before they visited my home," Passons revealed.
"I am out now," Passons shares, noting that he only officially came out to his own family this year, though he was fully aware of his sexuality even back in his Avalon days. "I'm a gay man and I'm glad to be. At the time I was conflicted because I was involved in a culture where that was not accepted. I knew if I were honest, I would lose my career, I would lose many things -- and I did end up losing all those things I feared I would."
"We had had some conversations... I was required to attend some reparative therapy sessions to save my job. That did not go well," he recalls. "I was required to drive a couple hours every week to see this person in Chattanooga. It was basically someone sitting there listening to me speak and looking like they felt really sorry for me. [I was thinking] 'Is this all there is? Do you have an answer? Do you have a cure? Let's speed this up.' I knew, of course, they didn't [have a cure] but I was trying to play along. After a month I said, 'I'm not going back to that guy, let the chips fall where they fall. I'm not going back.' It wasn't long after that."
When you hear of the Christian music ministry called Avalon you may think of one or more of their number one hits like: "Adonai", "Can't Live A Day" or "Testify To Love" to name a few. However, there is much more to this dynamic vocal foursome than meets the eye. The iconic three-time Grammy-nominated, American Music Award and Dove Award-winning group desires to deliver a message of hope and ultimate love, freely offered from Jesus Christ, and to blatantly declare their devotion to Him through the words of every song they sing.
Avalon is now signed on with Jay DeMarcus' as the flagship artist of his new label, Red Street Records, and will be releasing their new record, starting with their first studio single in over a decade, "Keeper of My Heart". Avalon's known and loved harmonies meets the "now" style of contemporary music to bring you their newest album "Called", which is set to be released October 2019.