Rich Mullins

American contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter best known for his worship songs “Awesome God” and “Step by Step”.

October 21, 1955 – September 19, 1997

Sometimes you try to pray and you try to impress God with all the right words, I just don’t think it’s an easy thing to impress God almighty.

The thing we often forget is we don’t have to impress Him; He’s already knocked out about you. He already loves you more than you can imagine.

In 1986, Mullins released his eponymous debut album, followed in 1987 by Pictures in the Sky. Neither album sold very well, but the Christian radio hit “Awesome God” on his third album, Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth, brought his music to a wider audience

During the late 1980s, Mullins desired change and formulated a plan to leave Tennessee. He took steps to become a music teacher on an Indian reservation he had visited before.

He was asked if he made the move because God had called him to proselytize and convert the Native Americans. To this Mullins responded, “No. I think I just got tired of a White, Evangelical, middle class perspective on God, and I thought I would have more luck finding Christ among the Pagan Navajos. I’m teaching music.”

“If we could lay down our stuff and let God love us, I think we’d pretty nearly be in Heaven.”

The profits from his tours and the sale of each album were entrusted to his church, which divided it up, paid Mullins the average salary in the U.S. for that year, and gave the rest to charity.

His philosophy can be understood by a quote he gave at a concert shortly before his death. He said,

Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you’ve done it to me. And this is what I’ve come to think. That if I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ, who I claim to be my Savior and Lord, the best way that I can do that is to identify with the poor. This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers. But they’re just wrong. They’re not bad, they’re just wrong. Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken-hearted.

Shortly before his death, Mullins had been working on his next project, which was to be a concept album based on the life of Jesus Christ and was to be called Ten Songs About Jesus. On September 10, 1997, nine days before his death, he made a rough micro-cassette recording of the album’s songs in an abandoned church. This tape was released as disc 1 of The Jesus Record, which featured new recordings of the songs on disc 2 by the Ragamuffin Band.

On September 19, 1997, Mullins and his friend Mitch McVicker were traveling  to a benefit concert at Wichita State University in Kansas, when they lost control of the Jeep. They were not wearing seat belts and were both ejected from the vehicle. Rich Mullins died at the scene.

In his own words:

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