(Nashville, Tenn.) September 5, 2007 – Multi-Platinum Christian music band Casting Crowns' third album The Altar and The Door debuted this week at No. 2 on Billboard's Top 200 chart with more than 128,000 scans, making it this week's highest album debut and the top artist release in the country, second only to the High School Musical 2 soundtrack.

"This debut is a landmark achievement for this artist and our company in so many ways. Casting Crowns has proven that artistry, ministry, career and personal life can all co-exist successfully when the mission is clear. We are truly thankful to be a part of this at a time when record sales are hard to come by and consumers have so many choices. Clearly, Casting Crowns' message of hope and encouragement, coupled with Mark Miller's magnificent production, is resonating with listeners," shares Terry Hemmings, President and CEO of Provident Music Group.

Another equally impressive achievement is in the digital arena where The Altar and The Door peaked at No. 3 on the iTunes Top 100. This week's success follows the band's back-to-back Platinum certifications on its first two albums, its self-titled debut and its follow-up Lifesong, both of which are also in the Top 20 on the Nielsen Christian SoundScan Charts.

Earlier this year, Casting Crowns set an RIAA record as the fastest Christian music artist in its career to have its first two albums certified Platinum, and only the second in RIAA history ever to achieve it (the other being Jars of Clay in 2000). The band's Grammy-winning sophomore album Lifesong debuted at No. 9 on Billboard's Top 200 chart in September 2005 with more than 71,000 scans.

Casting Crowns is fronted by lead singer and songwriter Mark Hall, who also is serving his 16th year as student pastor at Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta. All seven band members remain active in student ministry at their Atlanta-area churches.

The band will visit 36 cities during its The Altar and The Door Fall Tour. For tour dates and more information, please visit www.castingcrowns.com.

During its four-year career, Casting Crowns has been honored with a Grammy Award, two American Music Award nods and 12 Gospel Music Dove Awards. Casting Crowns has been the most played artist on all Christian radio formats combined, with seven consecutive No.1 AC radio hits, and the group has sold nearly 3 million albums to date.

-Enter here to win one of five autographed copies of 'The Alter and the Door' CD