About

What When Oceans Rise has never lacked is vision. From the passion in their voices to the energy that resonates through their performance, there is never a doubt that they were called to lead in praise and worship. Four men, filled with the love of the Holy Spirit, with a glorious enthusiasm want to partner in ministry with you. The music they play will feed your soul with the things that are most important in life such as faith, family, and friendships.

“You were so full of energy! It was a show that had appeal to everyone… I loved how you got the audience involved too! You guys ROCK!!” said one fan and they were so right. Each performance is dynamic, interactive and sure to get your toes tapping and your heart worshipping.

In God’s unique way, He brought Charles, Ryan and Eirik together to collaborate on a worship project and from that collaboration, When Oceans Rise was formed in September 2012. Hailing from Binghamton, NY the members of the group simply enjoy making music and who some say are, “anointed and appointed to minister through music to multitudes”. Since the bands conception, they have played in various coffee houses, fairgrounds, and festivals. They have led worship at many churches, and have witnessed the power of God transforming lives through their ministry.

Charles Searles (vocals/guitar) – Charles grew up in Rochester, NY and at the age of 5 made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. His parents were very active in their faith, but his faith never became his own until it was tested. In his late teens he found himself in a terrible situation that he could not save himself from, and in a desperate plea to Jesus for help, He came to Charles’ rescue. Little by little his relationship and faith in God was restored, and He began to plug back into church. As he followed, God began to open up doors for him to serve in ministry. He is currently the worship pastor of New Life Vestal. Charles is married to Patricia Searles and they have been blessed with two beautiful girls.

Eirik Bergskaug (percussion) – Eirik grew up in a family that went to church, but he didn’t personally comprehend what it meant to be a follower of Jesus Christ until well into his teen years. Witnessing the devastating effects of drug and alcohol abuse on some of his friends and family members, heI chose to follow the path less traveled. His belief and trust in Jesus Christ have been met with both trials and blessings. Ultimately he know that God works together all things for the good of those who love Him. He Eirik’s my Lord, Savior, and guide! He is currently the percussionist at Afton Baptist Church and he and his wife, Terri have three daughters.

Ryan Payne (guitar/keyboard) – Ryan feels fortunate to have had a lot of positive Christian influences surrounding him. His grandfather, 103 years old, was a pastor at the Windsor Free Methodist church. Ryan also grew up in a faith-filled home and has attended church his whole life. He accepted Christ as at a young age and has been on the journey ever since. After graduating high school in 2006, Ryan attended Evangel University where he earned a major in Advertising/Public Relations, with a concentration in Biblical Studies. He will tell you his all-time favorite class was New Testament. That, for him, is “where the Bible became so much more real. It came alive.” This class reenergized and intrigued his faith, and simply left him fascinated. After college, Ryan moved back to his hometown of Windsor, NY, where he currently lives and owns a small business. He is a happy newlywed, and thrilled to be starting this new chapter in life. Ryan loves leading people in worship and is incredibly passionate about God and music. This passion is evident in the way he plays guitar and piano for, and contributes to, When Oceans Rise. Ryan believes Christians are truly meant to be the light of the world. And this is done when we spread the overwhelming, unconditional love of Christ. Ryan wants to light up the darkness with love.

In January of 2015 through God’s leading and calling Charles, Ryan and Eirik welcomed Stephen into the band’s family.

Stephen Searles (bass) – Stephen accepted Christ into his life at the age of 8. In 2010, his brother, Jon, passed away and caused him to take a deeper look at his faith. This tragic event made him realize how important God and his family needed to be in his life. A few years after the accident, Stephen recommitted his life to the Lord, and in 2014 he was baptized at New Life Ministries (Vestal, NY) buy his brother, Charles. Stephen currently serve on both the setup and worship team at his church.

Here is what others have to say about When Oceans Rise….

A pastor of a local church referred to the band as “…a music group put together by God Himself”. Indeed there is no doubt that the hand of God put these three unique and talented individuals together when an off-chance collaboration formed deep friendships and ignited the idea for When Oceans Rise. Each with their own story and personal walk with God together they are the perfect mix of talent, personality and fun.

“The anointing of the Holy Spirit fills their music and their hearts. Their passion for Jesus and love for all people flows from their hearts through their music. I am so looking forward to seeing all the ways that God is going to use these men to touch the lives of so many and bring them hope and healing. When Oceans Rise is a breath of fresh air!!!” – Pastor Kevin Rollo (Windsor Free Methodist Church)

“When Oceans Rise is a powerful force. Music is clearly their passion turned to mission. Audiences are moved just that much closer to the Lord whenever their music is ‘set free’. Our neighborhood outreach ministry at Central has been graced by their gift of music and we can’t wait to have them come back.” – Kelly Devine, Director of Education & Youth Ministry (Central UMC Endicott)