Austins Bridge -


About Austins Bridge

Mike Kofahl, Justin Rivers, and Jason Baird share a passion for music and a deep desire to spread the gospel. Combining their gifts to form Austin’s Bridge, the guys are doing just that with an innovative flair that blends Southern Gospel, country and a touch of bluegrass into a soulful new sound.


Though Austin’s Bridge might be a new group, its young members are far from novices in the Christian music community. “I answered the call to ministry when I was about 11 years old,” says Justin, a pastor’s kid who was born and raised near Mobile , Alabama . “I went on the road and played piano for a group professionally and continued to go to high school and travel at the same time. Then after about seven years, God opened the door for me to be with the Crabb Family.”

A gifted multi-instrumentalist, Justin plays piano, drums, bass, acoustic, electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle. He had left the road and was leading worship at a church in Austin when he got a call from his old friend Mike Kofahl. “I’d known Mike for about five years, relates Justin. “He calls me up one day and says, ‘We’re wanting to travel and sing.’ I said, ‘That’s really where my heart is at too.’ We all made an agreement that we’re going to do this. I chose to leave Austin and move to Nashville , and God has opened doors for us.”

Like Justin, Mike’s father was also a pastor and he knew early in life that he wanted to go into ministry. “I decided to go to a Christian college and I had always loved to sing,” he says. “I was singing in choirs in college. The Lord spoke to me through that and said, ‘I want you to go on and pursue this.’ That led me to my friends right here.”


Jason also honed his musical chops performing with other groups before Austin ’s Bridge. Born in Ohio, Jason moved to Austin with his family as a toddler. During his junior year in high school, he began feeling called into ministry. He went to college and began working as a youth pastor and leading worship. A friend suggested he audition for Living Word, a touring group comparable to Truth. He won a slot and began traveling extensively with the group; doing four or five shows a week.

Their self-titled debut album, Austins Bridge , 2007 (Daywind) contains songs with a message of hope.  "He Will Carry You" is a prime example, cites Justin.  “We’ve had a lot of people come up and say that that song ministers to them in a special way.”

“I See Daylight” is a vibrant up-tempo song that showcases the group’s incredible harmony. “That song says even through your darkest storm, if you start praying, prayer can change the situation and you’ll see daylight,” says Justin. “The message of hope and salvation is really what we are trying to get across with this record.”

One of the most poignant songs on the record is “Life’s Too Short,” a cautionary tale about taking time for the people you love before it’s too late. “It’s a real song with a real message,” says Mike. “It hits home. The lyrics just penetrate your soul.” “He’s in Control” is one of the songs already becoming a concert favorite. “We get a great response with that song when we do it live,” relates Justin, “because it says no matter what you are facing and no matter what the trauma is you are going through or how dark the situation seems, that Jesus Christ is in control of everything.”

The group’s high-energy performances and soaring harmonies have drawn comparisons to multi-platinum country trio Rascal Flatts.  Their mission is to build up the body of Christ, and reach as many unbelievers with the message as possible. While bridging the gap between different genres of music, they want to show the world that the gospel can be portrayed through different types of music and still have a huge affect on people.  Pressed to define how they’d categorize their unique sound, Mike replies “contemporary pop country bluegrass with a little bit of funk.”