I would like to express my gratitude to God for the ministry that he accomplished in my life through the life of Rich Mullins. He inspired me with Awesome God as a 19-year-old teenager, and encourages me with his music as a 26-year-old seminary student. Although his music will continue to inspire me to follow God closer, knowing that we have lost a man who was sold out to his Creator saddens my heart. Please let his family know that I will pray for them as often as I hear the words of his songs echo in my heart.
Praise be to God for the life of Rich -- may we all leave such a legacy. The Winds of Heaven blow upon the Stuff of Earth a little harder now that Rich has added his breath to the numbers. I long for the day when I can stand next to him and Sing my Praise to the Lord. Truly he has gone out like Elijah...
I know that lives were shattered when Rich went home. It amazes me that my grief has been so strong. I only knew him through his music. I did have an opportunity to witness his character during a performance in Longview, Texas, when the tornado siren forced an evacuation of the building, and - in true Christian fashion - the band showed up with acoustic instruments to attempt to finish the show. After the all-clear siren, the band played until almost midnight!!!! I'll also NEVER forget the worship time during the concert: God you are my God....and I will ever praise you !!!! The only way that I could commemorate Rich was in song, although not nearly as good as Rich would have done, but I hope that it will be adequate. The following are the words and you can be the judge.
MAN of GOD
A man of God died Today
In a way so senselessly
I had to stop and ask my Lord
I had to ask Him why?
This man of God gave his life
to do your will upon the earth
It seemed so unfair
to take him away
I know your ways are Just oh God
I know your ways are true
I know you know what's going on
Who am I to tell you?
I know he's now in Paradise
Singing Awesome God to you
I just know that I am going to miss him here
Until I see him there with you.....
Oh Lord your Word says a Righteous man
Is taken to save him pain
What about those left here?
Will life ever be the same?
His words were filled with Power
His words spoke the truth
The simplicity of his message
brought many to you
I know he's there beside you
With a smile upon his face
He stayed true, he stayed the course
yes, he finished the race.
There will be many more in Heaven
Because he walked upon the earth
He taught them the love of Christ
and he taught them of their worth.
And now I come to Praise you
and he would do the same
I can't wait to get to heaven
and hear him sing again...
--Chorus and fade--
I wish that I could have known Rich in life. All I can tell you is that his music has tremendously affected my life, and his death has broken my heart. I am praying for Mitch, the affected families, but more importantly the band as a whole. The band, his music, his legacy, are with them. I pray that they will continue what he started. Yes, without Rich it will be different....but the talent that I saw on the stage in Longview, Texas, on a rainy night has the God-given talent to affect change in the body of Christ. Keep on keeping on.
Your brother in Christ,
Seeing how many people have been touched by Rich and his music is incredible. Praise be to God! But it's still tough for those left behind, and I pray that Rich's family and friends would find peace knowing how many lives Rich has touched. The Holy Spirit truly spoke through his songs, and they have given me the greatest strength in times of need. I thank Rich for being sensitive to the Spirit in his songwriting. I only had the pleasure of meeting Rich once. Back in 1993, I drove to five hours to Knoxville, TN, along with 10 other friends, to see Rich in concert. One of those friends had been telling us that there were three men whom he really admired more than anyone else in the world: Jesus Christ, Larry Bird, and Rich Mullins. He was sure he'd see Jesus, and he figured he didn't have a shot at meeting Larry, but he wanted to take a chance to meet Rich. After the concert we wandered up on stage where we did meet Rich. Not only that, but after the auditorium had cleared, Rich sat down at the piano and played a duet with my friend as the rest of us gathered around and sang "Sometimes by Step" and "Lion of Judah." I cherish that memory, and I thank Rich for using his talents to the glory of God.
AFR played "If I Stand" yesterday morning while I was driving to work. I had not heard the news before that time and had been singing along with Rich as I travelled. Selfishly, I felt unspeakable grief and cried periodically through the day. This man I never met presented the reality of Christ in a way no one else could. Upon returning home, I gathered my CD's and began playing them and weeping. Weeping turned to quiet singing then full-out exaltation of God.
I am truly sorry we will not have new music from Rich, but the thought came to me that he, who would "weep as a man who is longing for his home," is no longer longing. Thank you, Lord for giving us the sweet and precious gift that Rich was.
It is with a heavy heart and prayers that I wish you all the peace of the Holy Spirit can bring in such a time of loss. Out of the thousands of letters you will receive I am sure mine will be lost in the volumes but I felt strongly that I had to share with you, all his family, the impact that Rich had on my Christian life.
In 1991, I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to attend Bible College. Within a few weeks a friend told me that Rich was going to hold a concert at a church in Owasso, just north of Tulsa. I t was and will always be the concert that touched me the most. It was not a concert but an offering to God of the most sincere and humble worship like no other service I had ever attended in my life. Nothing to this day has equaled what his songs of praise and worship to God in my life. I saw Jesus in an entirely new light. I was awestruck with Rich's childlike approach to the Father, so unpresumptuous and so real and down to earth. It touched my soul deeply. As I read the articles on the internet about Rich and how he wanted people not to remember him but rather the God he served well he did just that. I cried when I heard the news and the loss I felt was like someone I knew even though we never met.
We have lost a humble man who was great in the things of God. But heaven is a whole lot richer; right now Jesus and Rich are playing in the River of Life. A son has come home. His music, like no other that I have ever listened to, has soothed my soul and spirit like his. I am going to miss him.
To Mom Mullins, thanks for bringing such a wonderful gift into the world; my prayers are with you and your family.
Rich was a rare gem. Thank you for sharing him with us. Though I never met him, he touched my life. My family and I loved him and will miss him greatly. I wanted to share with you something that Rich said at a concert in 1995. Perhaps you've already heard him say it. I don't exactly remember the context of these remarks, just that he made them before singing, "If I Stand." Anyway, he said something along these lines: "When somebody dies young, or 'before their time', we often think, How unfair of God that he should die. What we ought to be thinking instead is, How unfair of God that he should have lived at all. How unfair of God that any of us should live. God doesn't have to give any of us life. All of life is a gift from Him..." And he went on in his Rich way, not knowing that he spoke of himself. I share this thought, Rich's thought, in the hope that it will be helpful to you. It adds a different perspective to his life &death. Every day that he lived was God's gift to you, and the years that he ministered in music & words were God's gift to the rest of us. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace..." (Rom.5:13), and may Jesus hold you and give you the hope to carry on.
To Rich's mom and family, may you be comforted by the love and prayers that go out for you. Though we cannot know the extent, we share your pain and our hearts go out to you. God is Sovereign. Rich was a Christlike man, this certainly is true Of that de ar child of God, so many heard and knew. So gentle, kind, and brave, and so much like his Lord So dedicated to the task, of passing on God's word.... Now, we must say farewell, and for the time being part .But the memory of our dear brother, will live on in our heart.
What a shame. His music was the only Christian music I can truly say I liked. Maybe it was because Rich wasn't phony. When he sang, it came from the heart. I hope that comforts his family, how he touched so many people with his life and music. I truly hop e his friend that was hurt recovers, my prayers are with him. Thanks God for letting us have Rich.
I found Rich's music to be inspiring and wonderful. Awesome God is such a very wonderful praise to God. I have found it to be a great worshipping tool. His death is a great loss to those of us who remain on earth. It is a great joy, however to know that Rich is in Heaven with the Father, who has taken away all of his worldly pain. Rich is now singing praises with the other greats who have gone on to be with the Father.
My wife and I were shocked to hear of the passing of Rich. Several years ago we lost our youngest daughter in an accident. Rich's words through his music were a great comfort to us then as they are now. We only met him once but it was enough to show us that what he sang about was also the way he lived his life. My sympathy and prayers go out to his family. The grief process is a tough load to handle, but with God's help and a lot of prayers He will see you through it. Rich now sings in heaven but one day there will be a glorious reunion!
2 Samuel 12:23
When I heard of Rich's death I was stunned and filled with sadness and happiness at the same time. He is singing Awesome God to the Awesome God and to me that is such a touching thought. But I can't deny my sorrow for losing such a special friend. Yes , even though I never met him personally he was a dear friend. I thick this is because his songs were written in such away that they became personal to me. Many of my friends feel the same way. Thank you Rich Mullins for following God in such away that allowed you to create a wonderful ministry in Christ. You touched and will continue to touch many people. You must be so happy to be home with our Lord. You will be missed. I will continue to pray to Rich's family and for the recovery of Mitch and his family.
My deepest sympathies to the family of Rich Mullins. He was truly a great Christian man and an inspiration to us all. He was such a great song writer and singer and was anointed by God. Times like this we must remember where he is now in comparison to what he left. He's with God now and without a doubt having the best time he's ever had. I know it's almost impossible to be happy at this time, and we have all these great theologies about how we should celebrate when a brother or sister in Christ goes to be with him; but the truth is right now it seem s to hard to celebrate, and all we can do is rest in the comforting arms of Jesus and trust in the One who died so that we might live. We'll get the chance to fellowship with our brother Rich again. It is important to keep that in mind especially now. Once again, you are in my prayers, and my condolences on the loss of your loved one.
In the love and Service of our Lord Jesus Christ,
To me Rich left this world like he did in his concerts. He left us singing praise to God as he quietly left, and when you finally realize that he was gone you wanted to hear more but knew deep down inside that this was right. He has shown us what true worship is. He left his concerts with the focus on God and once again he has left us with a focus on the wonder of heaven, of God, worship, and a challenge to live our lives prepared to be called home.
Rich has helped me so much in my Christian walk through his music. Even now in his death he is helping me understand heaven a little bit better. Thanks for the songs Rich I'll see you on the other side. Thank you Jesus for Rich and all the memories of him. Lord please comfort the families of Rich and Mitch during this time of loss. Lord also watch over Mitch and allow him to recover fully.
To the Mullins Family,
May God's peace comfort you and give you strength. Rich was truly a disciple that with God's guidance through his music made a difference in the lives of many of us.
I can't imagine your grief. We are asking God to grant peace to your hearts. We are mourning with you. it's almost eerie to hear the word of his songs, because he's right where he always sung about being. Praise God for such a blessing in your son and you r brother.
Los Angeles, CA
To his family, thank you for giving Rich to the world. May God bless in this moment. May he live on in our memories as he inspires us to walk in Jesus' steps, step by step.
Mrs Mullins, your son touched our lives in a way few people ever do. The Lord used Rich's life in ways that will only be known when we are gathered there with the Lord, The Creator, The Almighty One, the One who gave Rich his gift! I pray that the peace of God will be with you in the days to come.
Thank you for letting us borrow Rich a while.
We have been deeply touched by Rich's life, and we grieve with you in his death. God continually surprises us with His generosity: He gave Rich the very heart, soul, and songs that Rich offered back to his Father, and to us, his fellow sojourners. It sort of seems like our dad giving us money so we can buy him a Christmas present. And the thing is, He delights in what we give him.
Rich has long been our friend and older brother, a kindred spirit whom we never met, but love with all our heart. It seems like he poured himself out, poured out the Spirit who filled him. Or maybe he was running the race with such reckless abandon that he spilled out, and his passion for his One True Love has seeped into our lives. We have been able to drink deeply of God's grace through Rich's songs. Rich understood that life wasn't tidy and orderly, fitting neatly into a day-timer. His songs reflect his bare honesty in grappling with the God who wrestled him to the ground so many times. We were not an audience for Rich -- we were in the ring with him. We came away broken and blessed. God is like that.
On July 2, 1995 we traveled six hours to see Rich in Manchester, Connecticut, with Brennan Manning. It was our first concert, only it wasn't a concert. It was like he just had a bunch of people over to sing and laugh and cry and worship. He and Beaker had just come back from a hike and barely made it on stage in time. The first thing he said was that he hadn't got a chance to shower. That set the tone for the night. We forgot about stages and concerts and just hung out with Rich to listen to God. There wasn't a single song he sang alone. At the end, it didn't end. Rich said he was just going to hang out and play some songs. He said we could stay if we wanted to. No one left. We all know that Rich's life didn't end on September 19. He was running the race, tripping and spilling, waving us on to join him, when his body got pulled out from underneath him and Jesus set him free.
We miss him terribly, we will always. It seems like Rich would tell us not to be silly, that we're all one person, we are the Bride Christ chose for Himself, His very own Beloved. Or maybe he would say, "Rich who?" He has a new name. We pray for Rich's family and friends, sometimes with only the groans of little children who really don't understand. We count it a privilege to weep with them. We also lift up Mitch and his family, the truck driver, and many, many ragamuffins. God has comforted us through you. He is our Father. He is good.
We send our heartfelt condolences and would like to add our names to the ones who will miss the inspiring ministry of Rich. Thankfully our 'goodbye's are heaven's 'hello's. We thank God for letting such a one grace this world for as long as he did.
In Christ's love,
Dennis and Ann Wise and family
I want to address this message to Rich's parents. Your son made the finest music because he lived the finest life. He lived in such a way as to bless and strengthen any life that even remotely touched his. He was and is an honor to Christ and I will always be grateful for the messages in his songs which helped bring a cultural Christian to the cross. God Bless you for the way you raised your son.
Signed a grateful fellow sojourner.
To Rich's Family:
I know you don't know me.. I'm one of the many who was touched by Rich's music, especially as of late. I know you must be grieving greatly for your loss. I sympathize with you. I only hope that you are touched by how much God used Rich to touch us all out here in this place we call the world. I don't know much about his life - how good he was, how many mistakes he made along the way. All I know is this: I'm a little closer to God today because of the messages in some of Rich's songs, and to God, and Rich. I am grateful. Thank you for your time.
Your son, Rich, was such a blessing; a real man of God. God didn't cause this accident, but He will use it to His good. You did exactly what the Lord wanted, raised your child in His ways. Our prayers are with you.
Karl, Jane, & Karl Jr. Pabst and Michael Mahoney
God's gift to man kind has returned to his home. To be with the Father. May the love of God surround all those who loved Rich and his music. May they see the joy through the tears.
In the love of the Christ, Jesus
My first memory of Rich was at a concert I was promoting with Harvest Productions in 1986,at Notre Dame University,he was the new opening act for Amy and we were waiting to meet him. I thought he was the bus driver ,he tumbled into the back stage area , hair a mess sleep written all over him rubbing his head,I said ' Hi I'm the Christian promoter on this tour,could you please get Rich off the bus for us " : ) He just did that laugh that he did so well and told me he was Rich.We became friends as only Rich can be friends with someone ,that intense time for a period in both our lives and then the friendship that is never ending over the years from afar. I will miss knowing he's out there but am joyful in knowing that he's probably teaching God the dulcimer and my mother the banjo she always wanted to play ! I'm sure Heaven is jammin',our profound loss is certainly Heavens gain.For all the unsung songs my friend...I will miss you and see you again some day
Thank you Lord for Rich's life and talents. We pray that knowing his destiny will bring comfort to his family and friends. Our loss is definitely heaven's gain. Lord, please heal Mitch completely in body, mind and spirit. Please bring peace to the driver of the truck. In Jesus's precious name, Amen.
Michael A. Schmitz
My prayers are with you! My husband, Orlando Luckey, is a contemporary Christian recording artist. He used to hang out with Rich, Geoff Thurman, the Willoby Wilson Band and others at the Jesus Coffee House in Cincinnati. He treasures those memories.
There are no words to describe anything I'd like to tell you. I just wish you all the best, a lot of strength and a strong sense of Gods love.
I was deeply saddened when I heard Rich had died...How tragic for one so young in eternal years...He truly went out like Elijah...Be of comfort he was on his way to do his Father's business when it happened. I know the loss of your son is no comfort... but he is in a better place... and someone who loves as much as if not more is taking care of him. God's peace to you. Rich, the world as best as you remember it is missing you.
KHCA Angel 95.3 FM
Mullins' family, please know we are praying for you and the families of those involved in the accident. God's peace be with you. John 14:27. It has occurred to me that there was a great singer/songwriter in the Bible: David, the shepherd and the King. Can you imagine the beautiful lyrics and music Rich and David are presenting to our awesome God? It must really be incredible! I look forward to someday participating with them in that magnificent face to face worship of our God.
Faithfully Serving Him,
I have only known of Rich's music for a short time, and yet it spoke to my soul. God is using him in such a mighty way, during his time here on earth and now while he is with his heavenly Father. I will pray for each family member that has been in his life . Thank you. Jordan is not waiting any more ...
I wanted to express my condolences to Rich's mom and siblings in their loss. I think all of us who knew his music know that God used Rich's music to profoundly impact the world for Christ. One of the DJs here said, "Heaven is a little richer now, and t he earth is a little poorer, because of the death of that man." I would have to agree. I remember the first Christian concert I ever went to was in the summer of 1993 at the Cincinnati Zoo. It was Rich Mullins. I was a new Christian, and I remember that I went and bought his tape after the concert. It was the only Christian music I really had aside from a compilation tape my friend had given me. I had worn that one out, and so I listened to Rich all the time. It was such an encouragement to my faith to listen to his music. I just wanted to pay tribute to Rich for all the work he has done for the gospel, and tell you that I in part also feel your loss with you. We have all lost a great man. Praise God that we will see him again in heaven.
Until that day,
I will be praying for the family and well as Mitch as he recovers in the hospital. God be with you all.
I met Rich 7 years ago at a wedding near Cincinnati. I had never heard of him before, but he came across as a refreshingly humble man. Since that point I began listening to his music. It encouraged, challenged, and moved me to praise God countless times.
When I moved from Michigan to North Carolina I lost my spiritual support network of friends. The words of Rich's songs helped to continue reading, praying, believing and serving. Rich's passing reminds me of Paul's letter to the Philippians when he tells his brothers and sisters, "For me, to live is Christ, but to die is gain." Rich has gained more than we can possible imagine.
I will miss him for the example he lived for many young Christian artists, for his music, and especially for his simple yet profound wisdom in his lyrics and writings. "The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance I owe only to the Giver of all good things" is a line that has stuck with me from the very first time I heard it. It is a simple statement; one that we all should remember and practice, yet I still struggle with this world and possessions - Rich's words are a constant reminder of my struggle and an encouragement to pursue my allegiance to God.
I know that Rich would want God to get the glory and praise, so I end by saying, Praise the Lord for your wonderful love for all of us and comfort Rich's family with the peace that passes all understanding.
Yesterday, Sept. 23, I was playing some of Rich's music, worshipping with my 2 boys, David who is 7, and Jared who is 2 years old. I looked at David and said, "I just don't understand why God took Rich." David's response was "Well, dad. Maybe God wanted him up there to write music to send back down here for someone else to sing." I said, "David, I never thought of it that way before! That is really neat." The insight God gave a 7 year old brought a little more peace to his father. I hope it will to Rich's family, friends, and other fans also. I'm sure during the great reunion celebration in heaven we'll hear from Rich again. But if what my son told me is true, we haven't heard the last from Rich in this life either.
I know Rich touched so many lives, mine certainly included. The thing I loved most about Rich's music is my brother and I could sing it together and that always brought us closer together. So although we will miss him and the world is at a loss because he will write no more music, at least we know he's happy. And he's Home.
--Amanda K. Rich
Rich has meant so much to me since I became a born again Christian. His songs always bring me closer to God and rejuvenate in me the Love of Christ. I will miss him greatly but also look forward to seeing him with our Lord. The Heavens are singing.
What an incredible gift. Rich Mullins' music touched my heart and my life in an incredible way. I am saddened by the fact that there will be no more music from his heart to ours. But, I believe he is with Jesus. Praise God, praise our Awesome God!
--B. Suzy Welch
To Rich's family and friends:
Though I will say it anyway, you already know what a blessing Rich is to us all. Recently, my husband and I rededicated ourselves to the Lord. With the help of Rich we were given the inspiration to keep that dedication! Though our church has been a great support, Rich is with us seven days a week; we just have to pop a CD in, and there he is. What a blessing he is to us!
I am also going through my own grief now. I lost my mother to lung cancer not even a month ago. Though I am sad at times, I have found that the "normal" grieving process is just not there for those of us with faith in the Lord.
I cannot be angry at God-- my mother is now experiencing a joy and love I could never give her here.
I cannot stay sad for very long-- As much as I miss her, I would never deny her the paradise she lives in now.
I cannot be in denial -- though she is not here, she is also not dead! I have accepted the passing of her body. But all that lies in her grave is that vicious tumor. It is dead, not her.
So if there was one thing I could say to you all, please find time in your sadness to rejoice! He Lives, He Lives, with Jesus Christ he lives!
Because he is part of Jesus, as is my mother, I will never refer to either one in the past ten se. They are here, with Him and with us. There's just a little more to do, because Heaven IS waiting for us, and so are Rich and my Mom.
Love and prayers,
Robert and Rene' Mullins
My condolences to Rich's family and prayers for the recovery of Mitch. Rich was truly a unique individual whom I had the pleasure of meeting and sharing thoughts at several retreats quite a few years ago. At the retreats, I found myself just wanting to talk with him. He had such great insights and said things that really made you think. His music does the same -- makes you think. The first song that came to mind when I heard of his passing was "Elijah". That song always gave me chills and I just blare it and sing my heart out! My 3-1/2 year old daughter sings "Awesome God" all the time and says that's her favorite tape. The first thing we have to do in the car is "put in the tape." His music will live forever in our hearts!
To Rich's Family,
I just wanted to let you know that you are all in my prayers. I had the chance to meet Rich and see him in concert several times this past summer, mostly at a few of the CIY's he did. His music and his life were both a great inspiration to me. He showed people what it meant to seek to serve God with your whole heart, and I'm very grateful to have had the chance to meet him. His commitment to and love for Christ will be remembered for a long time, and I know that someday soon we'll al l see him in heaven. You are all in my prayers.
In Christ's Love,
I wish to give you my condolences on the going Home of Rich. His music has been an incredible blessing to me, not only as a Christian, but as a musician who has the opportunity to play and sing some of the music which he wrote. It is happy/sad to know t hat he is with our Savior, and you without him. But in a very short time, all who believe will be reunited in Christ.
With His love, and prayers...
Dear, Dear Mullins family,
I am SO relieved to have this way of saying we are so, SO sorry. I am only a far off fan, and yet, I've got to say that Rich's music has always stricken me to the heart, and has given me the "hope to carry on." There couldn't have been a more honest, more poetic song writer than Rich, and from what I understand, he was so down to earth with his concert goers, as well. Thank you for sharing Rich with all of us. I'm sure it was a sacrifice, and that his constant traveling made it hard for you to spend time with him. But what he had to communicate in music has blessed so many like me in so much abundance.
I didn't know what had happened Friday night. I was at a Women's Retreat, and on Saturday, joyfully sang his song, "One Thing" to the group. It deeply blessed the women--they wanted to get the album it was on. I bubbled over to them about how all his songs have blessed our family, because they obviously come from a heart for God that is full of joy and deep commitment and love for God, His creation, and His compassion for others. His song "Never Picture Perfect" has give our family the resolve to keep serving Jesus, content with what He's given us, and realizing that living out our faith loving each other is what counts the most.
I am praying for you. My husband is, too. We both cried when we heard the news, and cried again when we heard "Elijah." It was like our big brother in the Lord had passed away, because he was always on our tape player or CD encouraging us to "reach out to Jesus and hold on tight." We will be giving to Compassion. We are holding your hands in prayer and in spirit, and if we can get the memorial service on TV, we will be watching.
God bless you--may He give you all the strength you need at this time of need. May your tears flow unhindered, because, as I found with my grandparents' deaths, it's the only way to healing. It has to work its way through you, and it takes time. Jesus has taught me a lot as I've been grieving for my grandparents who have both died this year.
Take care of each other,
Love, Terry, Lynne, Tim, and Josh Calhoun
Just a note to say what an impact Rich's music had on all of us. Our God is an awesome God and although we all share in your grief we can praise God for his life and that he's home.
To Rich's family,
I am so saddened to hear about your loss. I want you to know that Rich Mullins has touched many lives, and that God really used him. His music will live on forever. My guess is, he's up in Heaven right now, working on another song.
God bless you,
God changed my life through Rich's music. He's home now, but we will all miss him greatly here. I look forward to hearing his voice again someday in Glory.
Friday night, I pulled out my favorite songbook of Rich's and tried to sing some of those favorites. I'm heartbroken that there will be no more of them on earth. But, as I looked as his photo, I thought, just you wait... just wait. He's there getting ready, and I will have all of eternity to have a chance to sing with him to our beautiful Savior. Won't that be a BLAST?!? There wasn't enough time here on earth, but we'll have forever together, and it won't be long now!
--Barb J. Slagel
I am so sorry to hear about this and as I think about it and being a 13 year old girl i just think that life is too short to be living on the devil's side so since I heard about this accident I am going to start taking life and God seriously and change my life for good!!! I truly am sorry and I will be praying for him and the family!!!
love and concern,
Hearing the news of Rich's accident touched me deeply. My wife and I loved the music he brought to this world and the messages he conveyed through that music. For me it has shaped, in part, who I am and what I stand for. His legacy is real and will be enduring. We were both numb when we heard the news and still find it difficult to accept. My daughter who is now 5 years old has listened to "Awesome God" since she could speak and still sings the song with a love and excitement I cannot describe. We told Rich about this after one of his concerts and he humbly responded "I'm sure she sings it better than me". We can now only rejoice that Rich is with our "Awesome God". Our prayers are with Rich's family.
Yours in Christ,
Sean, Lauren and Skye
I thank God that he worked through Rich to touch all of us. He will be missed but a part of him will live on through his music forever.
What a blessing we had in Rich. He taught me how to live...knowing that life is hard and that life on this earth is temporary. I knew of him for only two years, and during that time I became totally immersed in his "stuff"--music, writing, ministry focus, concerts...I loved every minute of it, and I have grown so much! I thank the Lord for all the lives he touched during his life, and--praise God(!)--certainly through his passing, many lives will be touched as well. I caught myself thinking the other day--"what a way to go..." to be able to die in the Lord--Rich would say..."that is Awesome." You may also be interested in knowing, as I looked on an Illinois map to see the place where the accident took place (this was a map with "Gazeteer"), I discovered that Lostat, Illinois is smack dab in between two Townships. One is "HOPE" and the other is "RICHLAND." I just thought that was kind of neat! We know that the land in which Rich now dwells is heaven--and oh what a legacy of hope he left for us all.
Your sister in Christ,
I have been saddened and shocked by the recent deaths of Diana and Mother Teresa, but when I heard of Rich's tragic death, all I could do was cry. I guess that shows who God has used to touch me the most. It makes no sense why such a gift to us would be taken so young. Yet I believe with Rich that the holy and awesome God we serve will one day redeem even this tragedy. My heart-felt condolences are with you all.
Rich is home. As much as I have wept the last few days, I still have to remind myself how happy he is. If there ever was a man "longing for his home" it was Rich. I never knew or met the man, but the Lord used him to save my marriage. His songs ministered to my husband and I in a way that pointed our lives back to God and saved our marriage. Thank you Lord, for using Rich in so many ways to minister to your children and for fulfilling his desire to be home with you. Don't have too much fun up there with out us. We will miss Rich more then words or tears can express, but for the faithfulness that he displayed here on earth, God's reward to him was to bring him home early, to experience fully the peace that passes all understanding. See you soon, Rich. Man, will we have a party then!
I just wanted to say that Rich Mullins was one of my favorite singers. I could tell in every song that he loved life, enjoyed creation, and above all, loved God. He will be sorely missed, but I know God will enjoy his company. Also, I wish Mitch healing. I know nothing about him, but I'm sure he is a brother in Christ, and I pray that he will make a full recovery. I also keep the Mullins family in my prayers.
We each have our own unique experience and thus we all have our own favorite artist(s). Rich was mine. Interestingly, the Lord impressed upon me to write to him just 4 weeks ago to thank him for his ministry and allowing God to use him to encourage the church. I never write letters, but I did write and send that one. His artistry has held a very special place in my life and in my walk of faith since giving my life to Christ 10 years ago.
In his music, Rich came the closest to capturing the wonder and glory of God, in as much as it is possible in words, of any artist I have heard. Also of capturing the essence of being a humbled, broken believer in the midst of a difficult world: the trials and joys of being a child of God. His gift of music combine d with his poetry generated many powerful recordings full of encouragement and challenge.
"and when I thought that I was all alone
it was your voice I heard calling me back home
and I wonder now Lord
what was it made me wait so long
and what kept You waiting for me all that time
was your love stronger than my foolish pride
will you take me back Lord, take me back and let me be your child
cause I've been broken now, I've been saved
I've learned to cry and I've learned how to pray
and I'm learning, learning even I can be changed..."
Rich had a special way of exposing the bankrupt philosophies of this world and then pointing clearly to the simple love and grace of our Maker. Rich had what must have been a great love for God's creation - the outdoors. In a world full of people that are "civilized" - that is - dependent upon the "man-made", Rich had a simple gift of appreciating the world as God made it. It is hard to see those who love the Lord so much be removed from us. But we have the joy of knowing that they enter into the presence of the One who loves them completely. And we will all join them soon enough. Welcome home Rich.
To the Mullins family:
It would take literally volumes to explain the many, many blessings that have been brought upon my life by the life and ministry of your son and brother.
There has been no greater CCM music writer in my lifetime, no other than has had the ability to minister as Rich. Through the darkest moments of my life, his music was there to strengthen and encourage me, to remind me that the God which we serve will never leave nor forsake us; to remind me of the grace and mercy and love of the our awesome God. And the blessing did not stop there.
I shared his music with many others and watched as they drew closer to the Lord, re-dedicating their lives to God, and endeavoring to walk with Him - how Tina was able to defeat alcoholism, how Brent was able to overcome a wretched teenage lifestyle that nearly tore his family apart. I was out of town at the time of Rich's death, traveling in the car to Virginia and back with a friend from Toronto. Once again, Rich's music had touched and inspired the life of Becky (a Jew) to the point that we stopped at the bookstore before we even came to my home so that she could purchase "Songs." It was there that we learned of the accident, the clerk reluctant
to relay the news.
As I walked from that store with tears streaming down my face and my heart broken, the Spirit spoke ever so gently to me and reminded me that Rich is not gone, but simply now in Heaven and that one day I would hear the new songs of his heart once again.
I'd like to thank you for raising a man of such faith. During the many times we attended his concerts, it became evident that these were more than just songs - that he lived the life that he wrote and sang about. What an incredible inspiration and example of the life that children of God are called to lead! There have been many that have started the race, but few, like Rich, who completed stronger than when the race begun. I am ever grateful for his life and his ministry, and thankful that his songs are here to continue to strengthen and encourage me and others.
As the mother of four children, two in Heaven and two here on earth, I am well acquainted with the sense of loss that you must be feeling. My prayers are with you, that the Spirit would comfort you and bring to you the peace that passes understanding. I will miss Rich horribly, and I know that soon these tears will subside. Surely, we are of one body in Christ, as I mourn the loss of a beloved brother. But even through these tears of loss, I know that when it is my time to cross the Jordan, that among the many others whom I have come to respect and love, Rich will be there, welcoming me home.
Peace to you,
South Bend, Indiana
I am so sorry that you had to suffer this loss! Although I did not know Rich personally, I feel like I did. It would have been a great privilege to have met him. He sounded like a very nice guy. I heard lots of his songs on the radio that I liked, but I never realized that he sang them. I especially liked 'Elijah'. Do you think he did "go out like Elijah"? In a sense I think he did. But in conclusion to this letter, I am very saddened and moved by these events that have unfolded. Just remember, Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. He meant for this to happen for some reason and all of us will get to see Rich in heaven someday. :)
16 years old
Cornerstone Festivals (many), a couple of other concerts, all were amazing as are his albums. But at one Cornerstone Gallery stage concert Rich kept lifting up Jesus (as he does) so much that early on in the show it became a very heavy "church service" filled with incredible joy, love, tears and the sweet smell and presence of our Lord, Jesus. It was beyond "beyond." I saw Jesus all over the stage. I have met Rich many times and his musicians. He has Christ so much in him. It must be totally amazing to play with him. I have seen his gentle eyes up close. I have heard God's love in Rich's comments and the tone of his voice. I have been extremely touched by Rich's ministry of music. I can't praise God enough for Rich. No wonder it takes billions of angles and instruments at full tilt to praise God in the heavens. Rich alone is worth it.
I think it would be an understatement to say that the life of Rich Mullins was one of shepherding the children of God. His encouragement will be missed in a way that no other can replace. I for one thank God for sending him and the strength that my own life and the life of so many others has gleaned from his servant heart.
Rich - Jesus' love and compassion was your whirlwind that fueled your chariot and we know that when you looked back on the stars, it was like a candlelight in Central Park and didn't break your heart to say goodbye
- Leta Blank
Rich was to this generation what Keith Green was to mine, a prophet of God sent to stir the conventional minds and hearts of the church back to it's original roots, back to God's unconditional love for us. Rich reminded us what was really important: Jesus.
I was fortunate to have seen Rich in Oklahoma City in July 1997. His ministry was always refreshing to me. And his words to me and the Youth of my church will ring in their minds for the rest of their lives: Be God's!
You'll be missed, Rich, and remembered fondly for years and years to come.
When I have suffered depression Rich's music was a big help in healing my spirit.
Love in Christ
Like everyone who loved Rich, I am deeply saddened and grieved over his death. He made it easy to love him. I keep telling myself that he is where he has always longed to be--with Jesus, but that doesn't remedy the sinking feeling in my stomach. What I loved most about him was that he was so Godly and yet so real about his human nature at the same time. I met him a few times and attended his concerts often, he was so kind to me.
If we have learned anything from the recent outpourings over the losses of Mother Teresa and Princess Diana, it is that we humans need heroes and role models. Rich was a both to me, although I believe that he was uncomfortable with the thought of being a hero to anyone. Rich knew how to number his days aright, and he spent them in passionate and relentless pursuit of service to his King and Master. That is the legacy that he leaves to me, and I pray to live with the same intensity and passion for the Lord. Thank you to his mother for introducing him to and training him in the Lord and in music, and for releasing him to God's service. Thank you to his uncle who provided the money for his first song to be published. Thank you Lord for raising up Godly men like Rich.
Peace of Christ to you,
please accept our heart felt sorrow for the passing of your son and brother Rich, we grieve your loss with you. but, indeed knowing he has passed into the arms of the one he held so dear , can lighten our heavy hearts. we thank God for the legacy he has left for us..
sincerely in Jesus
love the Wilson family.
our prayers are with you!
I am so sad to hear of rich's death. his music meant so much to me as a new believer and ministered to me in an incredible way. It is so good to know that he is with Jesus now.
I remember a few years age three of my friends and I drove in a borrowed convertible up into the hills by our house late one night. Our whole reason for doing so was to gaze at the stars and listen to the song Rich was singing in the Ragamuffin Band. As a result we all got to focus on Jesus a lot more together. I will always remember the hope and joy his songs brought to me. It is so encouraging that there is such hope in Rich's death. He is where he longed to be. Thank you Jesus, for letting us know the love he had for you!
- Cindy Smedley
My husband and I were totally shocked at the news. My father was baptized by the Spirit while listening to Creed (very shortly before he died) and we sang Sometimes by Step at his funeral. During a period of intense grief the songs on his albums ministered to me incredibly....I do not physically know Rich Mullins but, I sure did know him in the Spirit just by listening to his music I knew!
Though my heart is deeply grieved at the loss of one of my favorite musicians, I find a profound peace there also. I praise God for Rich's life and work, and am deeply grateful for the way his music has touched my soul and glorified the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. My prayers go out for all those who knew and loved him, especially his family, and for Mitch and his family. May the Lord comfort all of these with the peace that passes understanding.
My husband and I enjoyed Rich's concert at our church last April in the Minneapolis area. Rich's music and his spirit touched us greatly. We esteemed him highly as our favorite christian musician. We are saddened but praise God for his life and ministry. Our children will support two Compassion children in his memory. Our prayers are with his family, his friends, and musicians and music listeners everywhere who are personally grieving by Rich's death. Rich wanted to go out like Elijah when he left this world, with a whirlwind to fuel his chariot of fire. Rich is with the lord and is free now. -Thank you God that we too are free but give us mortals grace to heal our broken hearts. May we have the strength to keep rocking for you, Jesus, until its our time to roll, as Rich did in his life.
God's grace, love and peace to all of us and especially to his family and close friends.
We want to express our sympathy for his loss but our gratitude for his life. God uses us when we are willing and I believe Rich was. We are known by our fruits. It's hard to understand God and his reasoning, but he is an Awesome God and we have to believe in what he is doing. He knows the ending and all he requires from us is obedience. Thank you God for all you have given us and for the short life of your servant.
All of this excitement and surprise about our brother's death serves to remind me that his life is not a life to fuss over. No, his is a life to see as a brief glimmer. For his words, deeds, faults, music, and joy all serve as an arrow. One that points straight to Christ. His hope was that we would know and remember the name of Jesus. Thank you Father, for working through your servant. What a wonderful life!
I have known Rich. I praised God through the years for this man and his simplicity and precious refusal to live by anything except the truth of God. I've known him from when I was first saved--from darkness to light--while in college at UT Knoxville in the early '80's.
His infectious laugh never changed, it only grew more resonant through the years. We had a small coffee house in the basement of a Civil War house off campus called Aslan's Lair (for C.S. Lewis). Rich would come and play his dulcimer, and the Lair had an antique, hand-carved upright that was filled with delight every time Rich came to touch its keys.
We went on retreats together, took road trips together, did U2 concerts, roared through comedy movies, fellowshipped, laughed. I was there when he and Dane returned from their nationwide motorcycle tour of wandering and staying with whoever would take them in. We laughed that day so much our faces ached. I was also the person who house-sat at the Bellsburg homestead that first year that he toured with Amy for Unguarded. I went out to meet up with them for the Atlanta concert and bring him news of home. When he got home, I don't know who was happier to see who--him or Bear.
He loved Jesus so much, and longed to see God's face more than anyone I've ever known, besides me. He lived "right," like he would die at any moment. Not perfect, just a no compromises man of God. Some resented him for it because he became opinionated, others envied him because they couldn't quite get there themselves. I loved him dearly for it, and always thought of him with glory dancing from his eyes--God's glory.
He was so very simple, yet complex. Our paths have separated over the years. The last time I saw him was at a benefit concert he did at Christ Church in Brentwood a little over a year ago. He was both glad and sad to see me. I shared deep truths that had been revealed in my life. I shared about my adopted daughter of Indian, Irish, and African-American heritage. I shared about my turbulent marriage and divorce which grieved him more than anything.
We have laughed until we cried real tears together. His heart and songs always grip real hard around my heart and make me cry out to God. He wasn't what the "world" called a great singer, but he was honest and real and pure and serious about the Lord Jesus.
I was such a young thing when we met. He saw my pain and awkwardness, my innocent way of looking at and loving people, and wondered if he frightened me because he was so opinionated. Funniest thing was, my insecurities have always gotten the better of me, and they alone prevented me from realizing that he liked me as a girl. We were kindred in our pain over the wrongs of this world, our love for the beauty of Jesus, and our refusal to live on the surface.
I shall miss his presence and his contributions in this lonely world of counterfeits. He was the real thing. When he got home, I don't know who was happier to see who--him or God.
With love in Christ,
Cynthia M. Langley
I can't find the words to describe the feelings that Rich conveys with his legacy of his music. I think it would be short-changing my memories to do so. So with that, I send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of this loving man, because we know that he now totally absorbed in the presence of a Love that is pure. Rich has traded his liturgy and his legacy for a little more than a Ragamuffin Band. Thank you Lord for Rich.
MY SPIRIT KNOWS NO BOUNDS (by Linda K. Barto)
If you listen, you will hear my laughter amidst the sounds of night, And it's my face that quickly flashes between moon beams and shadows. When you step out to begin a new day, it's my kiss the fresh breeze brings to your cheek. Life is like a rambling vine that begins in the shadows and follows a shaft of light that leads through a rock wall. I have followed the light, and, on the other side of the wall, I have found a garden in which to thrive. So, don't say good-bye to me, because the petals of my spirit surround you until your time to come to the garden where I bloom.
Tom & Linda Barto
I was stunned, and sad, yet I believe that God will continue to raise up men and women of God to speak the message clearly as Rich did. I thought of it as an early graduation day for him, a day that many will remember. I'm praying for the family and friends who have experienced this loss and that the Comforter will enrich your hearts with His love. Amen
I thank God that Rich was so willing to be used by Him. The result has blessed me. And I'm sorrowful for someone that I did not know beyond the songs, yet in celebration for where he now stands--where all who have received God's grace by faith in Christ Jesus will one day stand. Glory is to God.
Let me be Thine, like the singer who sang from his heart, that was fed from the heart of the One true Vine,
Let me live without compromise, like the music of the man from Wichita singing in brokenness the lyrics of the wise
Mixing beauty and passion with truth in sorrow and longing, a melody of hope for this heart's completion
Words for the heart to wear, more aspiring than the asphalt of heaven's streets, yet humbly adorned with a hope to share
To live is Christ, To die is to gain, Oh that I might continue on with you, but this moment has been my gain.
"....and I can see the covenant colors."
How thankful we are to have met and heard Rich once again at a Christ In Youth Conference this summer. We are sad to have lost such a inspiring brother so soon and we are forever grateful for his timeless music! God used Rich's music to comfort, inspire, heal, and challenge so many.
David & Tracey Buster
I feel so blessed to have seen Rich Mullins in concert here in Burlington, Vermont at the Flynn Theater along with Carolyn Arends and Ashley Cleveland. It was a wonderful show. Rich gave his all and only at the end of the evening did he mention that he was ill and we learn how much that all really was. When I heard he had died the thought that ran through my head was this is "the day the music died."
I still haven't figured it out, but for some reason Rich's music touched me in a way no one elses did. As a Pastor who spends his time in study an preparation sermon's can get to be old hand for me. Rich's music would break and heal my heart when nothing else would. He helped me to sense the presence of God in the very ordinary.
When I met Rich at Cornerstone this past July he was everything I thought He would be. humble, unassuming, real, accessible. I told him how much the music meant to me and He replied that he was so glad he could be a blessing almost as if it surprised him. I haven't played one of Rich's CDs since the accident but in a while I will and I will find joy in the pain.
I am so sorry for your loss and Rich's gain. You have so much to remember and grieve for. But I will pray for you and take comfort in the fact that Rich won't have to sing "Hold me Jesus" anymore. May the peace of God fill your hearts with the hope of resurrection and reunion in Jesus who died to save us.
I don't know if it is right or wrong to have heroes. Certainly in this human existence there are no perfect ones save Christ. But whatever the case Rich Mullins was my hero. Not for the usual things people choose heroes for. He was not a war hero, or a sports hero, or a political hero, or an entertainment hero. He was not a famous speaker, or writer, or personality, in fact not really famous at all. He was not perfect and through the world's lenses was a small blip on the "big screen". But, through God's lenses and mine he lit up the world. He was my hero but not for the usual reasons people choose heroes. He is my hero because his life and songs echoed and created many of the life themes God has given me for my life, things I long to become. Those themes are passion for God and for life, real, deep, childlike wonder and joy, freedom and love, honesty, down to earth yet undeniably heaven focused and Christ driven. Most of all he always acted as a pointer to what is really real, "the stuff that lasts". He pointed the way for us on our journey to God. May God give me the grace to expand these themes in my own life and to constantly point others to God. Rich, you were my hero, my friend and my brother in Christ. I will miss your light greatly but I thank God that the light of your ministry remains. I love you brother and I can't wait to meet you!
Dear Family and Friends of Rich Mullins,
i just want to echo many of the others who are sad because of the immense loss we feel, while still knowing that our loss is Rich's gain. one of my future dreams was to hear him in concert sometime. i guess i will have to wait until we get to heaven, but that is not a bad thing. i'm sure God knows what He is doing. even though it is always so hard for those he left behind, God is sufficient and He will be our comfort. I pray that God reach out and meet you where you need Him the most. God Bless You!
I met Rich once at one of his concerts. His Music and his life were both an inspiration to me. My deepest condolences.
just found out today about Rich Mullins passing. My heart hurts. To me Rich was the David of the 20th century. No one could write a more heart felt Psalm. He will be greatly missed by our family. His music ministered Jesus to me and my husband. All I can think of right now is a line to one of his songs "I give my life to sing Your praise" am I willing to do that.
I heard about the accident last Saturday. I wasn't sure what to think or how i should feel. At first I was very angry, but then I realized the selfishness of my anger. It doesn't make sense to me why God would take Rich, but maybe God wanted Rich to just come home to Him. I'm currently in a singing in a band based out of Nashville. Rich has heavily influenced our music not only by the music he blessed us with, but also by the life that he lived. He was overlooked by many people in the music industry but Rich knew that his true reward was in Heaven. Unlike most of us, he did not rely on or need the praise of humans. I pray that I can have the patience and the attitude that Rich displayed in his life. I talked to him this summer while he was in Nashville, and every time I have talked with him he has made me feel special. The way he lived and the character he displayed caused me to want to know Christ more. God I thank you for allowing us to know and love Rich Mullins.
There are not many people (outside my family) who I can say influenced my life for 17 years. I am proud to say that Richard Mullins was one of those few who did.
I met Rich when he was at Cincinnati Bible College and involved with Zion Ministries. I attended a youth retreat at Woodland Altars Church Camp (OH) 17 years ago this month where the group ministered and performed. This experience changed my life profoundly as I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior there. Rich and the others were very instrumental in my decision and I will never forget that night.
I later became involved with Bellbrook United Methodist Youth Group (OH), which sponsored Christian singing groups for concerts at their church. I suggested Zion Ministries. The members of Zion so touched the lives of this group of kids that we began to attend as many of their concerts as possible, having youth retreats with them and became friends. I am a very proud owner of a very well used (and very well loved!) copy of Zion-Behold the Man (it is autographed by all who were involved with Zion at that time). It is one of my favorite christian albums!
We were very excited for Rich when Amy Grant decided to record Rich's "Praise To The Lord". We always knew big things would come of Rich Mullins.
Over the years since 1980, I have gotten married, had two kids, joined the work force full time, and have consequently gotten very busy. Yet through all those years, I have always tried to keep up with Rich's music. I got to see him in concert only once (during his early years) and I always hoped I'd get a chance to see him again in concert. Rich's music always touched a special place in my heart and soul and always brought back very special memories.
I read of Rich's death quite by accident on Monday in the Dayton (OH) paper.. I was shocked and devastated, yet happy for him. He has gone to meet Jesus whom he spent years singing about. I like to think that all of Rich's family, friends and fans now have a special angel watching over them.
I extend my sympathies to his mother and family and to everyone who knew and loved Rich over the years. I pray for Mitch and his family in this very difficult time. Rich will be missed by this long time fan in Dayton, Ohio.
As I think of Rich's (and Zion's) song "Hope To Carry On", even with his death we must have hope to carry on!
"Love has come
Love has come
Love has come
And He's given my hope to carry on!"
Monday night, I dreamed that I was at a memorial concert given by Rich's band members. At the end of the concert the band members invited the audience to speak freely and ask questions about Rich's life and passing, when all of a sudden Rich was there. We all knew he was spirit but he was there as in bodily form and he comforted us with one last song. The tune was sung to the melody of "when I die I want to go out like Elijah" but the words were "When I'm gone I'm gonna throw a Christmas Party, cause I'm goin' home,I'm goin' home."
I woke up in tears and confused about "christmas" but as my head cleared I realized that Christmas is a celebration of Christ in whom we all have hope.
I'm 42 and have never mourned for anyone and now I find myself daily fighting back the tears for this man whom I greatly admire. I'll never listen to his music in quite the same way again.
I enjoyed his music and ministry very much! I was lucky enough to attend a concert by Rich in the last 2 years. I was moved deeply by his love and support for the Native Americans. My sister and her family were missionaries on a Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico. My sister passed away 2 years ago at the ago of 41 and was buried on the reservation. I flew from PA to NM for the funeral and was deeply moved by the Navajo people. Rich's concert was after my sister's death and I was touched again by him and his love for the Native Americans. I know that Rich is now with Jesus and we need to rejoice for him!
I was very sad to hear the news of Rich Mullins' death. I really enjoyed his songs, and music. I wanted to remind his friends and loved ones about a Scripture, to consider during this time of their loss.
"The upright person perishes and no one cares. The faithful is taken off and no one takes it to heart. Yes, because of the evil times the upright is taken off ; he will enter peace, (in death) and those who follow the right way will find rest on their beds."
I had heard the news on our Christian radio station. I have been sad since that time. But my faith and trust is in the wisdom and faithfulness of our God, and in knowing that Rich lives on forever in the presence of our Lord Jesus. In a moment, in an instant, Rich entered into that peace. May all of us Christians continue following in the right way, until we also find our rest in Christ.
May our Lord comfort and keep you all in this time.
Houghton College. I never heard of Rich until this year when I came to Houghton College. I found out who he was and what he wrote. "The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death." Isaiah 57:1,2. God Bless my prayers are with you. Trust in the Lord and He will give you peace.
God Bless and may your day be full of rainbows.
I just wanted to say that Rich was certainly used of God, and he will be greatly missed. I was blessed to see him 3 times in concert, and he was definitely one of a kind. It's really awesome to think that he's actually face to face with the One he sang about, at this very moment.
Nothing prepares you for the loss of an artist who writes with such compassion and humanity that we all feel we've known him all our lives. Rich's music will continue to inspire others and help lead them to Christ. All of us in the United Kingdom will be praying with our brothers and sisters in the United States who are also hoping that Rich's family will be at peace in knowing that Rich is now right where he wants to be.
What a influence Rich was in my life and our teens at church. We played his music, and watch his different music video's. His life was lived for God and it followed out of him to others. Rich will missed but his impact will live on. In our prayers and thoughts.
Good is Good All The Time! "He Must become greater, I must become Less" John 3:30
It grieves my heart deeply to hear of such a great example of selfless, Christlike living been taken from us. Words cannot remove the pain, I know; however, remembering all of the great accomplishments and personal sacrifices made by Rich will serve to bring joy into the midst of our loss. May God bless Rich's family the same way that Rich has been a blessing to us. We'll miss you Rich. See you soon!
I don't even know how to begin to express the deep sense of loss I felt when I found out about Rich Mullin's death. I discovered him and his music two years ago at a concert he gave for the Texas Hispanic Baptist Youth Congress in Lubbock, and since then I had followed his career closely. I was blessed then, and continued to be blessed by his sincerity, his approachability and what seemed to me to be a tender, loving heart. His music, of course, was better than well-crafted. His sounds were rich, original, and his lyrics were so deep and beautiful. He just spoke to me through his songs in a way that nobody since Keith Green had been able to speak. I would like to send my condolences and my best wishes to Rich's family. We will miss him dearly.
To the family of Rich Mullins,
My family would like to express our sincere sympathy to you. I just wanted you to know how deeply sorrowed we were at the news of his passing. Also, I wanted to share with you what a tremendous influence his music has had on my second son, Cameron. Cameron is twelve years old and has loved Rich's music. Rich touched so many lives by his music, even that of a young child. I just wanted you to know how special Rich's music ministry was to our family.
In His unfailing love,
In response to the death of Rich Mullins- I am so overcome with a wave of emotions. I was in church this past Sunday, and our pastor announced that Rich Mullins had died. I began to cry- for reasons unbeknownst to me. When I got home, I listened to Rich's "Songs" and when I got to "Elijah"- I started to cry again and thought- YES! This is what it is all about. Rich is at home with his Creator- and although I am so excited at the thought of that, I am sad, because this world has lost an awesome man- who was humble, gracious, and had such a beautiful way of communicating the gospel. I was blessed to see Rich in concert a week or so before I left for school, and I am awed by the show he put on. He was so genuine and talked to the audience as though we were all old friends. My prayers are with his family and friends and also with Mitch's family and friends. My heart goes out to all of Christian music and the people around this world that have been touched by Rich Mullins in some way. "...And it won't break my heart to say good-bye."
Dear Mrs. Mullins,
My family and I would like to express our love and concern for you and your family as you morn the loss of your beloved son, Richard.
We would like to share with you our memories of the times we shared with Rich. It was the summer of 1988, our youth group was headed to a Christ In Youth Conference held in Denver, CO. Our heads were filled with wonder of the new friends we would meet and the big city we were headed for, not knowing the blessings the Lord had in store for us. During one of the first sessions of the conference, Rich shared the lyrics of his newly written song, "Awesome God". This was the beginning of a new way of worship for many of us which brought many blessing throughout the conference. Before departing, we invited him to come to New Mexico and visit with us in Rio Rancho. Within a year we received a call from him, asking if they could come and minister in concert to the community. We were so excited to reacquaint our friendships with the guy's, not expecting them to come to a small town.
The concert was held on the evening they arrived, and everyone was blessed through his heart revealing way of worshiping the Lord. After the concert, though they were tired, we had a great fellowship. Rich was well taken care of that night in our home; our children were so blessed to be able to meet his needs. The group met back at the church around noon the following day, and the children of our christian school shared in a time of worship with them. We visited over fried chicken and fixings, afterwards the children hugged and loved on them, took pictures, received autographs and all the while the guy's were so responsive, though not completely rested!
We of course had to pick up our 4 yr.old (who is now 13) from nursery school, who immediately found a place on Rich's lap. The children will hold these memories forever and our family will lovingly remember your son's shy Christlike smile, his torn blue jeans, the ring around the tub, the smell of Patoulli oil and his intense desire to serve his Lord and Savior. Thank you for sharing him with us.
In His Love and Ours,
Fran, Teresa & Rachel Muldez
My friends and I are deeply saddened by this great loss. We do know that Rich is now in Heaven and he is rejoicing. We are also rejoicing with him. We are praying for his family. We are also praying that Mitch will have a good and speedy recovery and continue to sing about God's goodness.
19/f college student
Monday morning as I drove to work I listened to Rich's music. As the tape played "Awesome God", I looked into the bright blue sky and felt that I could hear the Rich and the Heavenly Choir singing. God is surely preparing a magnificent choir to usher in His Return!
Pete & Diana Hughes
I am devastated but overjoyed by Rich's moving on to the Heavenly Kingdom. I'm sure that the Heavenly Host is rejoicing like never before, but the world will never be the same. What a loss for us. Praise the Almighty Lord for his life. He had a greater impact on my life and faith than probably anyone else; the Lord spoke mightily through him, and he will be missed.
I am praying for all who were (and are) close to him. Blessings to you. Rejoice!
Melissa Knight Shipley
Rich Mullins was a man of God. Every song he sang was a fresh wind of grace for me. He helped define and shape my own faith. He put into words what I seemingly couldn't. His music discipled me when my faith was new, and inspired me when I felt the call to full-time pastoral ministry. Today I am a pastor of a rural congregation of 175-200, and can attribute my current role to much of this man's legacy of faith and music which ministers to me in my quiet time. I encountered God through Rich, and I look forward to seeing him again very soon.
Grace and peace be with you.
Rev. Eric Bargerhuff,
Milledgeville, IL., Age 27.
It's hard to find words to express the sorrow I feel at the passing of this man. I truly feel in love with his spirit. Even though I never met him. He was a friend. There was a time in my life when I was so weighed down with the guilt of sin. I could not listen to my husband or friends preach at me. I could not endure the conviction of the Holy Spirit in reading God's Word. But, I could listen to "The World As Best As I Remember It" (Volume1). God used Rich and that album to speak things to me that no one else could. For that I am forever grateful. I thank God for sharing him with us for awhile and I'm glad he got to go home, but I can't imagine never hearing another new Rich Mullins song. It breaks my heart to think that I will never again (on this side of heaven) get a chance to see him in concert. In my opinion his music was the best in the world. I would like to thank his parents for bringing up such a wonderful child! They must have done so many things right. God used them to give us all a great gift . Our prayers are with his entire family and all of his loved ones. We are also praying for Mitch and his family.
Rich's music was a great inspiration to me when I was a young Christian. I was into the rock music scene before and when I became a dedicated Christian I still didn't like Christian music. I forced myself to listen to KLOVE. This is where I first heard his music. It really touched my soul and I bought the tape. It helped me grow stronger in my walk. When I met my husband he didn't like Christian music much so I gave him a Rich Mullin's CD. It spoke to his heart also. I thank God for Rich and I thank Rich for sharing his faith with others through music. He will be missed but he will always live in our hearts. We will continue to share his music with others.
To the family of Rich Mullins:
I don't know how to express to you my sympathy for the loss of your son and brother. One of the things I appreciated about Rich was that he didn't resort to cliche's so I'll try not to use them here. Musically, I enjoyed his style greatly, but it was his lyrics that caught and held me. Somehow, even though we never had met, he seemed to know me, my struggles and joys and fears, and he captured these in his songs. He was candid about his life and his weaknesses, his wrestling matches with God, in a way that I don't think many of us are, and I appreciated his vulnerability.
We are all, to some extent, a product of our families. Thank you for being the influence you were to Rich. Please know that this is not some lightly made condolence letter. I often listen to his music and will think of you when I hear it. My heart goes out to you.
Rich Mullins was introduced to me through my best friend at the time while I went through particular trials and tribulations in my own life. Rich's songs met and moved me in a special way that far outweighed the other voices and music out there at the time.
I was floundering in a divorce situation and then I heard "Hold Me Jesus". My friend bought me a can of blue paint and I painted my room light blue, just like Rich had done in his Wichita home and seen in his video!
Later I would attend two of his concerts, one with Carolyn Arends and Ashley Cleveland in Greenville, S.C. It was the kickoff concert to his "Brother's Keeper" tour and he rocked the house. My friend said to watch for his bare feet and his closing song. It was a real moving experience.
Later he came to Athens, GA where I now live with Eddie Middleton. It was a much smaller venue, but it gave the audience the chance to see Rich on a more personable level. He sang a capella and more acoustic stuff and spoke from his heart on a number of political and religious issues - with an honesty and frankness that I think took the audience somewhat by surprise. Yet, that is where Rich's life and legacy came from.
It seems that God was preparing us for Rich's passing into His Kingdom by allowing the Spirit to move and mold us through a true troubadour for the Lord in this special artist. There is only one Rich Mullins and I hope now that his work is recognized for its truth, integrity and sheer grit and honesty that set his work apart. God bless you Rich...
As a musician, I have often played on guitar and sung Rich's songs for friends and for service. I heard my first Rich Mullins song 11 years ago when I first became a Christian, and have hungrily awaited each new tape. I grew as a Christian listening to Rich, his lyrics are so centered around the truth of the gospel, they would invoke in me, grief, happiness, repentance, worship, etc. Our men's Bible forum has the lyrics of My Brothers Keeper as our maxim. I praise the Lord that He allowed Rich to touch my life so profoundly and the lives of others. He will be missed. May the peace of Christ rest with you.
I thank God for the gift of Rich's music, which has touched my heart and life, and I pray for God's comfort upon the family at this difficult time.
My condolences and prayers for Rich and Mitch and their families. The legacy of joy will live forever in my heart.
I extend my condolences to the family and friends of Rich Mullins. His music and ministry has been a part of my life for over ten years. His unassuming and simplistic approach and lifestyle was something that I really identified with and was drawn to because of my own experience of living in a Christian communal lifestyle and attending a Mennonite University in Virginia. I remember attending a couple of his concerts right after college. The first one was at Lincoln Christian College in Illinois and it was right when I was making the transition from college to my first teaching job in small rural midwest town. Something Rich said in the concert about singleness just touched and encouraged me. I wrote to him in Kansas a note of appreciation and was surprised to get a personally written postcard from Rich. This further provided encouragement throughout that year. Here's a quote, "I don't think there's any great thing about being single if you don't take advantage of the freedom & simplicity of it. Loneliness is not a pleasant thing--it is a human condition & is present even in the company of close friends. Let it draw you up to God."
Mrs. Mullins, I know that I don't know what you and your family are going through. I want you to know that Rich's music and ministry has been something that God has and is using to draw me back to Himself when I get distracted with the things of this world.
Thank you and Love in Christ,
His music and ministry truly has touched my life and I thank him for that and thank God for giving him to us even though it was for such a short time! I know that everything happens for a reason and I know God wanted him to be with Him now to sing his beautiful songs in Heaven. THANK YOU, RICH!!! You will be missed!
I haven't felt like this since Keith Green died. As a young single man, Rich was an inspiration to me. My prayers are with the family. Rip Kenley
"Beloved I wish above all things, that you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers." 3 John 2
Praise be to God for sharing such a wonderful gift with us in Rich our condolences to his family at this time he is not lost for we know where he is and will not be forgotten as he and his music lives on in our lives and in our hearts we'll miss you Rich
Truly he was a prophet for this age. He lived completely for Christ and had a "No Compromise" Faith. He was a blessing to Christians all over the world. I rejoice that this servant is now basking in God's glorious presence, although the world is a poorer place without him.
praise God for a the rich life of Rich Mullins!!! i was personally blessed by his huge heart through his glorious, worshipful, and sincerely real music. he expressed the cries of my heart to God in ways i never could. he was my favorite artist of all time for these and many more reasons. he will continue to be an example of humility and servanthood to people around the globe, and his music lives on in the worship of millions. our God truly is an awesome God, and Rich always did allow Him to lead him step by step in love, grace, and passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Good bye old friend there is nothing new to say but the old old story bears repeating & the plain old truth grows dearer every day when you find something worth believing that's a joy nothing can take away we'll meet again in not so many years...............
thank you God for giving him to us for a little time
My husband and 9 year old son had the privilege of hearing Rich in Joplin in August. We were so shocked and saddened by his death. His music was so special and so beautiful. My son Jordan would like to say how Rich Mullins was so great, I love his music. How he loves "My God is an Awesome God, and Step by Step, and Hold Me Jesus. Also we are praying for Mitch. He is glad Rich is in a happy place. Our prayers are with his family and friends and all the children that he worked with. All of who have been so affected by his music over the years will mourn his death. It must be a great choir in heaven.
We all know what Rich would be saying to us right now! Don't spend your time of grace crying for my passing, keep doing the work of the Lord! Share the Word, people! There are too many spiritually dying on our planet! Rich's work is done -- ours isn't!
I didn't know Rich at all, but through his music I could tell that he was a very passionate and real man of God, as well as being a talented musician. God used his music in beautiful ways in my life to bring me close to Him and to call me back when I went astray. I know I will miss more of Rich's music, but I cried today thinking that he is home at last. I hope Rich is proud of the life he lived, because I want to be able to look back and see my life lived in such a passionate pursuit of God's kingdom. My heart and prayers go out to you who are mourning.
I don't know what to say. I feel like I am have a bad dream. I was one of the many fortunate people on earth... I met Rich Mullins this summer at my job. I remember the first moment I saw him walk by the jewelry counter and I was amazed that he was there, but I didn't want to bug him, so I just kept doing what I was doing. I remember I was whistling and then someone behind me started whistling another tune. My supervisor commented about the birds chirping. I turned around to see who was behind me and I saw him face to face. I walked up to him pretending I didn't know who he was, and asked if he need help. My supervisor, who had notice my before excitement that he was there didn't allow me to hide that I knew who he was.
I am a music ed. major at Friends University, and I have many teachers that had him as a student. I have heard a lot stories him and all of them are good. Rich stood there at the jewelry counter and talked to my supervisor and I for about 15-20 min., about the teachers at Friends, and God. After I got off work, I thanked God for giving me a chance to meet Rich.
To all those people who never got a chance to meet him, let me assure you everything is true. Rich Mullins a real guy, not a egotistical musician whom had bodyguards all over him, and was to good to speak to his fans. Rich was the opposite. He loved music, he loved his fans, and most of all he loved God, and Rich had no bodyguards by his side, only one in his heart......God! Only meeting him once was enough. His death effects me more than anyone will ever know. I just pray that Mitch will recover and Rich's family will also recover from this tragedy. We will all miss him, and there will not be day where I won't think about him. Rich spent his whole life trying to be closer to God, and now look where he is, as close as he can be!!!! One of my friends said it best when she said "The butterfly has flown." Rich Mullins, Be Gods. We Love you!!!!!!!!!
The world has felt a series of blows in the last few weeks, but
none hit me like hearing of Rich's tragic death. Tragic for
us, of course, not for him. He was a man who followed Christ
in song and in life. I remember his words on "World as Best as
I Remember It, Volume 2" several years (and 3 albums) ago:
"Hello old friends. There's really nothing left to say, but
the old, old story bears repeating...". He continued to
express that story in wondrous and deep ways, my favorite
being "Creed", which helps us to sing out our faith in full energy.
I feel so blessed to have seen him at least once in concert
here in Washington, DC, a couple years ago. Here is my
latest song, inspired by memories of Rich, and remembering
him in the third verse:
It's Hard to Understand
by Robert C. West - September 23, 1997
Sometimes it's hard to understand the timing of things on earth:
How one man dies while another man lives and another arrives in birth.
So I have to rely on the One who made me, who saved me from my sin.
All things work together for good for those who put their trust in Him.
A woman raised before our eyes like a living fairy-tale:
A princess with a caring heart and beauty that never failed.
Our thirst for things beyond ourselves pursued her far too late.
Her mortality was a shock to us when she met her tragic fate.
Another woman, small and frail, but standing on the Rock,
Brought charity to the lives of thousands, in her simple frock.
Theresa was a gift from God, she served Him `til the last.
I hope her work continues through us, now that she has passed
A man who gave his life to music, singing for the Lord.
Inspiring me and others with his melodies and words.
To "go out like Elijah" was his wish, but at forty-two,
He left to sing in heaven, I guess his work on earth was through.
Jesus was just thirty-three when they led him to the cross.
The Son of God, the purest life, there couldn't be a greater loss.
But God, He had another plan, to resurrect his Son,
Jesus took our sin and now brings hope of life to everyone.
Now I'm waiting for the birth of my first child with my wife,
And this joyous gift from heaven continues the miracle of life.
God's plan is hidden and we know his ways are not our ways,
But he gives us joy and promises to be with us through our days.
Sometimes it's hard to understand the timing of things on earth:
How one man dies while another man lives and another arrives in birth.
So I have to rely on the One who made me, who saved me from my sin.
All things work together for good for those who put their trust in Him.
I am amazed at how the Lord has used Rich to impact so many lives.
Never have I seen someone so ordinary; he was a true Ragamuffin.
"And everywhere I go, I see You..."
Rich Mullins was a great songwriter and musician. He understood that the created world reveals God's glory. I didn't learn of Rich's passing until last Sunday. On Saturday, I was getting ready to go out to a coffeehouse to hear a friend of mine play. I wanted to listen to something in the car on the way. But it was a short trip, so I wanted a tape that wasn't too long. A stack of Rich Mullins' tapes caught my eye. One of his early ones would be perfect, I thought, so I chose his first one, _Rich Mullins_. It has "Elijah" on it. Mysterious ways...
-- grace and peace,
Until long after it matters
You don't know if you're good enough
You can bet your dreams will be battered
So just go after what you love."
"Out of the Valley" -- John Gorka
My grief of the death of Rich Mullins is only overshadowed by the joy he brought to my life. I saw Rich the first time in Wichita Falls, TX in a local high school auditorium in 1989. #1 on the top 20 that day was "where are the nails that pierced his hand" the concert was not a long planned event and maybe 100 people were there. He walked out on stage barefoot, I thought this is different. I fell in love with the man and his music. We were close to Wichita, KN so many of his friends and family were there among the small crowd. It was like being in Rich's house, giggling, laughing & praising God.
I was blessed to see him again in Arlington TX in aug 93. He introduced us to "Hold Me Jesus", which had not been released. This concert preformed by him, turned tides. Suddenly we were singing and worshipping with this new song and he quietly played the piano and looked at the crowd with tear filled eyes. It was as if we were there for him. Never has a man and his music touched my life like he did. Grief tore through me when I learned of his death. But in the back of my mind I pictured him taking the hand of God and turning to a mass choir of heavenly host singing "Awesome God". What a wonderful greeting to go home to. What joy he is experiencing. My prayers and support go out to his family & friends, whose life, knowing Rich personally must be blessed many times over what his life blessed me.
Gosh, there's not a whole lot that can be summed up in mere words. I think God used this man greatly in his ministry. For me, Rich was really the first "ccm" music that I had exposed myself to coming to Illinois State University for the first time. I was pretty much alone, Bloomington-Normal was a town where I really didn't know anyone.
I eventually got hooked up with the local Intervarsity Chapter here and the words of "I see you" echoed true in that late night in a friends room when I first heard them. Several albums of encouragement and a sound that drew people close to God...close to the person that Rich loved and loved to be with...his music has affected us all.
Most recently, I would add, my Mom died of cancer last year and I think it is much of Rich's stuff that really was used by God to help me through that time emotionally and realize that really this life is horrible in some aspects. WE are children of the fall and we suffer, but we have a hope. People may die, but being children of God says that there is a hope beyond this life. That, my friends, is what he spoke of in his music. I pray God comforts his family and friends during the weeks and months to come.
Looking forward to that worship session in heaven,
When I heard Rich was coming to Ft.Wayne,In. I immediately bought tickets for myself and my three daughters(ages 14,10,and 4).I had only heard a handful of his songs off the radio, but I bought 3 cassettes that night. We waited around afterward hoping to have them autographed, when he came out he was so friendly and talked to us as if he knew us. My 4 year old still talks about the guy at the concert who gave her cookies after the show.My children will cherish the tapes he signed for them. I never knew him before the concert but after talking with him, I felt I did. We will all miss him and remember him
I never knew Rich Mullins personally, just through his music. After I was saved in 1991, at the age of 40, his song, "Awesome God" became somewhat of an anthem for me after first hearing it. I wept when I heard he had been killed. My Christian walk has not been what it should be and I pray that I might be more like Jesus in my walk. I feel as if I somehow knew Rich personally through his music. I know I will someday get to see him in heaven. The last few lines of his song "HOME" keep ringing in my head and make me believe Rich really was truly longing to go home, as any of us who know Jesus as our Savior. We are all just passing through on this earth, I'm glad God let Rich Mullins and his music pass my way.
"And now the morning comes And everything that really matters Become the wings You sent to gather me To my home To my home I'm going home
"The other side of the world is not so far away ... " --The Other Side of the World (Isaiah 11:1-9)
These simple words, framed by the frenetic picking of a 12-string guitar, offered to me the first glimpse into the heart of Rich Mullins, a man whose work, words, and walk were dedicated to Jesus.
Do I personally know Rich Mullins? No. Have I spent time with him? No. Have I ever spoken with him? Well, once for about 10 seconds before a concert. But through his musical insights into faith, love, and life, the most intimate parts of the soul, I feel like he was a dear friend and confidant.
"Our God is an Awesome God" --Awesome God (Psalm 145)
"What do you mean you never heard this song?" These were the words of a good friend when I told him I had never heard "Awesome God" or any other of Rich's music. My friend lent me the "Winds of Heaven ... Stuff of Earth" album and so it began. It still truly amazes me how God weaves our lives together when He is the common thread. My friend and I spent a long weekend together with a music group in 1989, driving from Boston to New Jersey to hook up with the group. I kid you not when I say that we must have listened to "Winds of Heaven" at least a dozen times on the way down and a dozen more on the way back north, singing and praising the Lord at the top of our lungs the entire time.
"Could be a celebration or it could be a hurt that makes your soul awaken in the echoes of what you've heard, 'cause when your faith gets shaken, sometimes your heart gets stirred." --Could be a Celebration
How many times will the Lord send you a song or a friend or a Word to help you through a struggle? Several of Rich's songs seemed to exemplify Romans 8:28 and John 16:33. No matter what the situation, God's ultimate and divine purpose was far higher than anything we could see or control. How prophetic.
"Talk about your miracles, talk about your faith; my dad he could make things grow out of Indiana clay. Mom could make a gourmet meal out of just cornbread and beans. They worked to give faith hands and feet and somehow gave it wings." --First Family (Psalm 127, Psalm 128, Proverbs 31:10-31)
The things of life that matter. The blessings of a family, the closeness of friends, the brotherhood of faith, the laughter of a baby, the sunrise over a dew-drenched mountain, the never-failing love of the Father, and, as best as he remembered it, "the prairies calling out Your name!" The heartfelt joy of singing God's praise. The only time my wife and I saw Rich in person he ended his concert with the Doxology, sung a cappella by the congregation, with Rich standing before the cross with his arms outstretched, worshipping the Father.
"So hold me Jesus, cause I'm shaking like a leaf." --Hold Me Jesus
The memories and thoughts are many but the words are few. Rich is now in a place he sang about often, the home he knew was waiting. Let us treasure the words, music, and the challenges of Rich's anointed ministry. I thank you for letting me share my heart with you all. And thank you, Rich Mullins, brother, for including us in your journey.
"And I can see the things that really matter become the wings you send to gather me to my home, to my home, I'm coming home!" --Home
I have a story of a chance meeting I had with Rich and how it gave me a bit of an understanding of the kind of person he was. It's not some incredible testimony of how he changed my life or anything. But, this incident did stick with me and I thought I would share it with you. Here goes:
About eight or so years ago, the band I was in had a gig in Cincinnati, for which we got to open for Rich. I was pretty new to CCM and didn't know all the household names, except the artists who's song we were covering. So, I didn't know why my bandmates were so excited by this opportunity. I was also still young and less mature in life and the faith than my bandmates. I think they saw me as a little brother that they needed to keep an eye on to keep from getting into too much trouble.
We were playing under a tent on the adjacent acres of a small church for their youth retreat finale. When we arrived, we had to start setting up immediately, so we really couldn't pay much attention to what was going on around us. Being a drummer, I'm always the last one finished with set up and this was no exception. The rest of the band had retreated to an eating area and I was alone on the stage. As I was putting my cases off the stage, I notice a peculiar sound. I turned around and saw this scraggly guy in tattered jeans hitting this weird stingy thing with these little mallets. I approached the man and started a conversation about the instrument. I said something to the effect of, "Wow that's a cool thing you're hitting." You see, drummers like stuff they can hit. And I was doubly impressed that he was getting a melody out of the thing. Rich introduced himself and explained the workings of the hammer dulcimer that he was warming up on. We talked shop for a few minutes and he tutored me on how the dulcimer was played and said he was looking forward to hearing our ministry. He graciously offered the mallets to me and told me to try it out and take my time.
After a few minutes, the rest of the guys in my band came back for our sound check and saw me hammering away on Rich Mullins' dulcimer. Our keyboard player practically ripped the mallets out of my hand. He was all, "What are you doing, you moron? This is Rich Mullinsn stuff! Get away before he comes back!" I tried to tell them that he showed me how to play it and told me I could try it out, but they were all nervous about it and scolded me. I felt like I was nine years old. I laugh about it, now. Anyway, they had to eat crow later, when Rich brought it up and said that I was a nice guy and such.
After reading about Rich's teaching of music at the Native American schools, I realize now, the kind of man Rich was. He was just taking another opportunity to teach. And he didn't care that he was famous. He didn't care that his dulcimer was a fine, expensive musical instrument. He was more thankful that the Lord had found him worthy, and provided him the resources to teach another person about music... and in that, also about God's Love.
So, even though I'm not a big fan, and I don't own any of his records, I learned a lot from him that afternoon about humility and kindness, that will stay with me a long time. I think Rich would be more pleased at what I got out of our chance encounter than had I bought all his records and gone to all of his concerts.
Rich Mullins was not only one of the world's best singer/songwriters, but was the most down to earth guy I have ever met. During Cornerstone this year I had the pleasure of spending a while chatting with him about what he was up to. He was in great form and enjoying life, but more importantly, lived what he believed. His faith was everything and his dedication to helping others, the Native Indians in New Mexico, folks he met on tour, other musicians on the road...his caring never stopped!!
As a tribute to the man we all miss dearly, let's strive to continue in our lives the way he lived...maybe then his thoughts and teachings through song and life will continue. Goodbye Rich.... We never got to say Goodbye.. but we'll meet again one day!!
Thank you God for blessing us with Rich Mullins for these past forty one years. Thank you for his faithfulness to you and for his stewardship with the talents you gave him.
To all: Although we are tremendously saddened by Rich's death, what lessons can we learn from it? As for me, I am profoundly thankful for the Rich's witness through music. For a thick-skulled person like myself, it was music that was the key to making God to me. Recalling one of Rich's songs, "you never know who God is gonna use---a princess or a baby, or maybe just you and me." Only now will Rich find out all the lives he has touched. As for the rest of my earth-bound brothers and sisters, may you faithfully run the race ahead with perseverance, always trusting (though maybe not being able to SEE) God's hand in it all. I love you.
Rich's life, his writings, his music, his love for Jesus have meant so much to me. His music has influenced mine. I met him in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He truly was a humble, kind, self-effacing man of God. It was a privilege to know his life. He represented Christ. I am part Indian also (Cherokee & Shoshone) and I'm Irish. You can imagine my affinity to him and his expressions of joy through music. I am so grateful to God for Rich's life. I keep crying, but still, I am happy that He is where we all long to be...in the presence of the King...the Lord of Heaven and earth. Our family prays for Rich's mother and siblings, and for the McVicker's.
I just want to wish Rich's mother my best. This day had to be hard for her.... the first service probably over about now. I know she must still be in shock. Let her know that she is in our prayers.
Rich's music touched my life so many times, in so many ways. I myself have gone through some rough times lately and his latest collection is one of the guiding lights that got me through. I thank God for Rich's time on this earth and rejoice with him in going home at last. He is singing his ultimate praises now cradled in the arms of God the Father. His music will never stop spreading the word of God and he HAS left a legacy of joy, compassion and praise.
Thank you God for sending us a mighty mouthpiece of your love if even for such a short time.
In God's Love,
My family and I can only grieve a portion of the grief that is yours. Please know you are in our prayers as we thank God for the loan of Rich's life and ministry to us. Our little fellowship has it's worship time on Saturday nights at 6 p.m. here in Southeast Florida. We will be singing some of the songs the Lord sang thru Rich as we worship this weekend and as the service goes on in Kansas. We loved the music he gave us even though we did not know Rich personally. The sadness is real because your love is real. We are consoled by the FACT that we will sing the songs and play the music together again in holy harmony when we are all united with Christ.
God bless and be with all of you all ways. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the resent nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38,39)
Pastors Fred and Karen Mortensen
Boca Raton, Florida
Rich Mullins' ministry truly touched my life. His songs reflect his zeal for our Lord. His death is a loss to us, but it is a gain to him. Rich is now in the arms of his Savior.
I was fortunate to meet Rich in the early 80's when he and Zion ministries visited the Andover Church of Christ in Andover, Oh and Deep Valley Christian Service Camp in Slippery Rock, Pa. I was a new Christian at the time and was just getting my feet wet with our Sr. High Youth Group as a counselor. Rich and his ministry helped both the kids and myself. Over the years I was able to follow his career in Christian music and whenever he was in this area, we would load up the church bus and go to his concert and then fellowship with him afterward. I look forward to hearing him again, when he sings for The Master. I thank his family for sharing him with us during his brief stay on earth.
In His Precious Name
Karl H. Reimer
I no longer find it so odd that no sooner had I heard the news of Rich's death that my eyes filled with tears and rolled down for so long afterward. I see the same is true for so many, many others! How well we KNEW him, if even from afar, and how greatly we will miss all that he was. I nearly laugh through my tears to discover that I am not the only person by any means! --who has driven around year after year, unable to stop playing his music, nearly every time I get behind the wheel. As a passionate lover of the prairies myself, how I do envy him, now, knowing he has actually ascended to "the place where morning gathers" and that he does truly now "see what time may never know"! To those of you, family and friends, who really did know Rich, I pray that the great void that used to be his hug, his voice, his laughter, his tears, and all of him that you will miss so keenly, be filled with the never-failing love of the Savior he so joyfully praised. Be borne up in "the hope that this thirst will not last long, that it will soon drown in the song not sung in vain.n Praise God!
have had kind of a personal relationship with Rich. From the days of Cincinnati Bible College, to the Jesus Coffee House, he was known for his piano playing. At the Jesus Coffee House were many alumni who were and are still in Christian Music, from Geoff Thurman to Orlando Luckey to The Willoby Wilson Band, we all shared music with Rich Mullins when he was with Zion (his local group). Hearing of his death, but life in heaven, brings back the years of 1982-84, when we all gathered on Saturday nights and played and sang around the piano. He is and will be greatly missed, but we will see him again.
My name is Joe Hagala and I live in Tacoma, Washington. Every month I write an article for our church newsletter. Well, I wrote this month about Rich. And what I say is true -- he did impact my life in a very big way. I never did shake his hand because I'm not one of those who goes to a concert to hob nob with the famous. I felt close to him for who he was, and I always left his concerts with a closer feeling to the Lord. I have used his lyrics in meditations before the Lord's supper at church and used the testimony of his walk in my Sunday school classes class.
Several years ago when he did a concert over in west Seattle at a church there, him and Beaker were on KCMS that day. Well at the concert Rich was busy talking during a break, I talked with Beaker. He told me that people were calling in mad that Rich said that people in America had it easy as far as their faith was concerned, that other countries were suffering for the Lord. Rich was right. And I guess some people were convicted enough to raise a stink. If you do talk with Beaker he may remember the guy who just found out he had relatives in czechoslovakia. Or maybe he won't. That was about 6 or 7 years ago.
I have cried listening to the words of several of Rich's songs because it was exactly how I felt but could not express it in words. One that hit me very hard was;
Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight you for something
I don't really want than to take what you give that I need
and I've beat my head against so many walls'
I have the flat spot on my head to prove all the walls I've beat! An interview Rich once gave explained the girl in' The River ' and it helped to put my Dream girl into words and into prayer, and the Lord did bless me with her. Who by the way shares my enjoyment of Rich's music.We played the song 'Creed' at our wedding as a testimony of our beliefs. I even toyed with the idea of inviting Rich to our wedding, now I wish I would have at least tried.
Well I have probably gone on too long. But Rich is on my heart and I am thankful for a way to express my thanks for his being a part of my life. We pray for peace for his Family and for Marshall Mcvicker. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do or pray for.
In His service,
Here is the article I wrote:
From The Corner
by Joe Hagala
Well, I lost another friend. Actually I didn't lose him, because he went home to be with the Lord. And although I never met Him close enough to shake his hand, we were friends because we shared a common interest, his music. And although we grew up miles apart, we were brothers because we shared a common father, The Lord.
We shared the same thoughts, the same feelings, the same heartaches. How he knew what was inside of my heart, I will never know. But listening to those things put to music changed my life forever. Song after song reverberated with the words of his heart and the fact of who the Lord was. And that the Lord IS Awesome an d the Lord IS to be Praised. And that in this life you can drive as far as you can drive but never be as far as your heart should be. And the one line that changed the way I looked at life forever is, nThis is real life baby, this ain't no hollywood dream.' He sang his songs as praise to the Lord, not as praise to himself. He knew what was real.
Rich Mullins is considered to be one of the best writers of Christian music of all time. Before you say anything, think of how many churches sing, Our God is an Awesome God. He wrote 9 albums with more than 50 hit songs. He could play a variety of instruments, all very well. And writing songs flowed easily from his heart. And yet he once said that there was no difference between us and him, just that he was up front. H e was real. The words from his heart became words of my heart and I thank the Lord for this brother, this friend. 9/24/97
I would like to join with the many others in expressing my sincere sympathy to Rich's mom and family. Although I knew Rich only through his concerts, songs, and writings, I feel as though I have lost a good friend. His music and message touched me in ways I could not imagine, especially when I was going through some very difficult times in my life. I truly feel that God used Rich to impact the lives of many. I know of several friends, besides myself, who felt drawn much closer to the Lord because of Rich.
Several friends and I were privileged to attend a concert by Rich about six weeks ago in Milwaukee, WI. I remember that among some of the other things he stated, he said, nI love my mom -- shens great!n What a wonderful thing for a son to say in front of a bunch of strangers. I'm sure that you all miss him terribly, and I offer my sincerest condolences. I thank God for the music and ministry of Rich Mullins. He will be sorely missed, but the message will not be forgotten.
We were sorry to hear the news. Rich was one of our all time favorite artists. His music was a blessing to us. My first albums were his. Remember he's now with the Father above blessing Him up there.
Leeanne and Lana
MKs from YWAM Salem
Thank God I'm Free Forever!
Soon after becoming a Christian. Rich was the first contemporary Christian artist I discovered and I connected with his music immediately. His lyrics spoke to me, and in many ways, spoke for me (the way music often does for us). I'm sorry that I never got to see Rich Mullins in concert. We only had one or two opportunities in the last two years and neither one was possible. I wish now somebody had a video they could share of a performance so I can see what he was like in concert ...
Rabbi Rich - Theologian, comedian, songwriter, boy, musician, friend, and brother gone to be with Jesus. "If I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home." What difficult words to follow as we mourn your passing. We are still newlyweds, and when we met a little over four years ago, one of the most intriguing things we found out about each other was our love for Rich's music. Sometimes we have "Rich" playing daily-we never tire of his music. You can think as deep as you want to about the lyrics or just enjoy the beauty of this master musician. Few song writers compose music with such transparency and personal testimony. Rich's music brings the Bible to life and reveals the awesome power of God in nature with great simplicity.
God has revealed to us through Rich's music the freedom we have in Him. His concert in Minneapolis, MN this past spring surpassed all concerts we have attended in regards to a sense of worship and admonition for God (not to mention the most incredible group of musicians we have ever seen on one stage). Truly this man walked with God. We are reminded of a quote by T.S. Eliot as we absorb the shock of his departure, "In the stillness is the dancing."
"First Family" - May God's Holy Spirit be your comfort in this time of great loss. Rich has left us a legacy that will endure for generations to come.
Bruce & Annette Knudsen
Pine City, MN
As a 39 year old single, I appreciated Rich's moral purity. He was open, honest and vulnerable about his struggles, which made him an example of holiness and how to live. He was a man that was honorable and noble. He lived a life of integrity and purity. I thank God that He graced us with a man like Rich for these few years. I will pray for you as we grieve for our loss. One day soon we will be united and will sing again with Rich.
When I became a Christian two years, three months and 10 days ago, my musical preferences didn't change, but my desire for nourishing lyrics did. Soon after, the first Rich song I heard was "Awesome God." Soon after that, I bought "Brothers' Keeper" and I was immediately hooked into this man's view of the world and his ability to put it into writing and music. Rich's music helped me connect in a deeper way with Jesus and see our Savior in a deeper, more personal light. Rich's music also gave me a form of expression (just as most music does for so many).
I never met Rich, never saw him in concert, read a few articles and a heard a few interviews, but somehow (like so many) I felt like I knew him. Not just knew him, but KNOW him still. You see, even though Rich is gone from this earth and living in God's eternal kingdom (and playing a lead role in an amazing band!!!!), his mu sic is very much alive and well, and here and now for the rest of us. As long as we have his tapes and CDs and articles and interviews, his music and his influence lives on. I know I can't bring Rich back or make his family and friends any less sad or lonely right now, but who among us, if given the choice, would deprive Rich of his heavenly glory if we had the choice. No, Rich did what he was supposed to with the gifts God gave him, and now he's in heaven forever and ever, and God will continue to bless us with his music.
A true heartfelt thank you goes out to the family and friends who nurtured and encouraged that gift and helped Rich bring it to a beautiful fruition!!! That fruit lives on in our ears, in our mouths, in our minds, in our hearts and in our souls!!!
My husband and I were first introduced to Rich through some friends at a concert at Eastern Nazarene College about 6 years ago, and we have collected all his music since then. So much of his music has touched us deeply, and even moved me to tears often. I am so thankful for his gift of brutal honesty and true Biblical teaching through his writing. Like Michael Card, we hold him up as one of Christian music's few who are so humble, and not seeming to be out there for the fame and fortune, but to truly lead us all into a closer relationship with God! We just have to hope and pray that more will be done for God's glory by taking Rich home to Heaven than it could have been by leaving him here with us. The next time we sing "Awesome God" in church, and I hear my 7, 6, and 2 year olds belting out the words, I'm sure that it will bring tears to my eyes...I feel so blessed to have been given such a talented musician and Christian man to be able to experience a bit of heaven down here on earth...can't wait to have a concert in Heaven for God with Rich and others! We are praying for God's comfort and peace for you in your severe loss-he has touched us all!
I remember growing up in Topeka, where I was constantly around church folks, and religion became stale for me. It was when I was about 14 that I first saw Rich in concert at a C.I.Y. camp in Bolivar, Missouri, where Christ came alive to me--partly through Rich's music. It wasn't until I moved to Wichita to go to Friends University that I was able to really meet and get to know Rich, and although we didn't "hang out" and do many things together, I did get to know him in a way that really touched me. I was able to peek, if only for an instant, into the mind of a brilliant creation of God. Rich brought so much insight, so much love and compassion and a great sense of humor to every conversation. This moved me.
It wasn't his fame that impressed me, or his musical talent , as much as his ability to yield himself to God's will in his life, to be used by God to reach so many. Upon hearing of Rich's home going, I was shocked and sent into a state of remembrance, where I finally realized that, although I had learned many lessons from Rich, I had never really learned from him the ability to fulfill the important obligations of life. I thought of how many daily struggles and problems I encounter, how I always seem to be beating my head against brick walls, and then it occurred to me...I wasn't even like I used to be...back when I knew Rich and we went to Bible study at Friends Univ. I finally woke up and realized that life is too short to not do what God calls us to do, and that we can rise above the daily drivel of normal living to commune with God.
Thank you for the last time. Even if you are not with us, the Spirit that was inside of you stays with us, reminding us of all you meant in our lives. To the family, I send my absolute deepest sympathy and condolences. I am sure that Rich was the jewel of your Thanksgiving table, the way he had a tendency to have the right joke for the right time, and was always there to lift up spirits that were down. I know you will miss him, I miss him too. My greatest comfort is now knowing that the one who taught me to sing about an awesome God is now known and knows just how awesome our God is. We will see Rich in Heaven, but we shall miss him so much on earth.
God bless you and keep you,
Rev. Mark A. Long
"When my spirit clothed immortal wings its flight to realms of the day, this my song through endless ages...Jesus led me all the way." Rich Mullins did more than write and play music. He told stories, wonderful stories, true stories. In his songs he told us about his family, his faith, his struggles...and ours. I've grown up as a Christian with Rich's music. My best friend gave me "Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth" just after I got saved. At an InterVarsity camp I took great joy in singing his songs with a good friend over dirty dishes. I had the privilege of seeing him in concert twice. Rich, you are God's. "Love is found in the things we've given up, more than in the things that we have kept." -- what Susan said.
A brother in Christ.....
We will miss him and his music. The LORD blessed him with so much, and he certainly blessed many of us with the GOD's word in music! My 2 adult daughters will never forget him.....
I am a 53 year old with college children, a girl and a boy. Both were fans of Rich beginning about ten or twelve years ago. My wife and I would take them to his concerts in the Dallas area. Once they got to meet him at a book store and have their picture taken with him. The reason I mentioned my age is that I enjoyed Rich's music as well. He will be missed!
We never saw Rich in person but his music was (is) wonderful and his God given talent blessed the world. We will think of him every time we hear "Awesome God" or "Creed". To Rich's mother we would say we are parents who lost a son 2 years ago - we believe with all our hearts we will see our son again in eternity. We believe you will see Rich again one day - may God be with you (and his sister and other survivors) each one and bless you. Rich will be greatly missed.
I am profoundly saddened at the death of Rich. I think everyone felt they knew him because he was such a humble and down to earth person. I cry because I know I will miss him but at the same time I have to give praise to God for giving me the pleasure of his music for a short time and for the opportunity to meet and talk with him over the past four years. Rejoice Rich!! "Peace To You!" You're home and I rejoice with you!
My heart goes out to Rich's family and loved ones. I will be praying for them. But he is better off now. Heaven welcomes him and he is at perfect peace with God. He is now face-to-face with the Creator he had been so passionate about on this earth. W e+ God bless his family and fans!
Rich Mullins was a great guy. A vessel for God is the greatest a man can be, humble in the hands of the Author of creation. And that describes Rich. Virtually every church has sung Awesome God at some point, and he was a man who knew that he was a man. And that's why he praised a God that he loved and served with his life, also giving out to us through his music and touching our lives with his songs. His legacy? His music. But I believe Rich would want the Bible to be his legacy, for it is what he sang about: God. The Word. We miss him.
For the music that brings my heart to a standstill to hear the quiet whisper of the Lord, I praise God for Rich and his ministry and what he has meant to our family. Our loss is his earthly presence...he is perfect and whole at the throne and probably barefoot, too.
My family was very sad to hear of the tragic death of Rich Mullins. His songs have been inspiring us for several years since our oldest son joined the youth group at our church especially "Awesome God". Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. W e also know the pain of losing a son. It gives us just a glimpse of what God experienced when he gave up his only son for us. God bless you.
Hello! I am a fellow Christian and I wish to give my condolences at the loss of your son. Although I did not know Rich personally, at least face to face, I felt like I knew him, through the words he sang and the life he lived. I would like to say to Mrs. Mullins, I am especially sorrowful for you. Last year I too lost a son. My son was only 5 days old, but no matter if they're 41 years old or just 5 days, nothing breaks a mother's heart like the loss of a child. I know all of this came as a complete shock to you, and for that I can do nothing, but the last year and a half has shown me how gracious and awesome our God truly is. There have been times when I wanted to shut the world out, and at times I actually did, but I know I must go on, although I don't want to sometimes.
I don't have words to say how I hurt at the loss of a great man of God, but I have even fewer words to say to you, for your loss is greater than any of us, his fans, could ever feel. I will be praying in the coming days, weeks, months and years, that you will find peace, as I have just recently, knowing that Rich touched more lives than anyone can fathom through his gift of words and music, and through his other efforts, like his work with the Native Americans and Compassion International. I admire people like Rich who give their whole lives trying to win "just one more" to God, and I truly believe that was his calling in life.
In St. Louis they have been playing a tribute to Rich daily, many times a day, and it consists of an interview that Sandy Brown, a morning DJ on our local Christian Radio Station WCBW, had with Rich just last year. In that interview, he spoke often about how thankful he was to be alive. We are truly thankful as fans to have had him for the time we did too!
As for the rest of the family, I will be praying also that God will somehow fill your hearts with peace. The hardest thing for me when I lost my son was I kept asking "WHY????" It's always someone else, but not me. Well, it did happened to me. But through it all, in the long run, I am a stronger person because of it. My faith in God has grown, my walk with God is stronger and my love for people has changed. I never knew I had such a strong capacity to love, but since my son's death, somehow that is a gift God has given me that I've always longed for.
I don't know what God will teach you through all of this, but don't give up on God. He is an "Awesome God" and His ways are higher than our ways. Keep reading the word of God, for this is where you will receive strength when you feel you have no more; His words are life when you feel you don't want to live any more; and His words are hope, when you feel you've lost everything, He will become your everything! God bless you all during this difficult time!
Our prayers are with you and your family at the temporary loss of your son. Rich's music ministered to my wife and I in a great way. My prayer is that all of us will be as sensitive to the holy and as apt to worship not being satisfied to know about God , but yearning to experience him as well. Rich's songs reflected this yearning and experience. God bless you at this time, and may he give you the strength to endure the grief, knowing that we have the "hope to carry on."
Brad and Robin Wheeler
When I heard about Rich, I almost didn't believe it. But it wasn't sadness that struck me..it was a quiet, peaceful joy, knowing that Rich was were he always longed to be. His sojourn is over. He's where he always loved to sing about...home. I'm a col lege student and I remember one evening last Christmas sitting in my room at home listening to "winds of heaven..." which I had listened to 100 times. I had just finished what is probably the darkest time in my life, where I was stuck in disobedience. How many times my hear echo Rich's cry of the surrender that didn't come natural to me and for some reason I would rather fight my lord for something I didn't really want than take what He gives that need. But that night, the Lord spoke to me through Philippians 3...forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. it was then that my ears perked up to a song that I had heard a million time but never really listened to.
I am writing, like many others, to offer my deepest condolences to you and your family. While many of us mourn the loss of a great man that we respected, you must mourn the loss of a son. I literally cannot imagine what this must feel like, but I do share a little in your sorrow. The news was a shock to me. I am greatly distressed in Rich's departure, but am also glad for him. I am sure he would not want to come back! I have tried to test my heart and learn the true reasons that I lament his death.
I did not know Rich at all. I did have the opportunity to see him in concert, but never had the chance to meet with him personally. I have no idea what he was like as a person. But as a man, I did look up to him with admiration. He was a musician, a songwriter, a poet, and a true artist. I considered him a savant; a man gifted with true wisdom. But these are qualities that any man may posses. Rich's music was a step beyond anything else I have heard; Christian or not. While I do enjoy a few other Christian artists, I always felt Rich presented a slightly different view. While most Christian music today focuses on us as Christians (we should pray, we should do good to others, we should focus on Jesus, etc...) Rich seemed to write music ABOUT God and TO Jesus. It is easier to write to an audience when you talk about things they can easily relate to. Most of these things have to do with us.
Rich wrote about things that are a little more difficult to relate to; like the fact that God choose the color blue for the sky! Think about that! Children see it! Sometimes we as adults miss it. Rich taught me to see God in absolutely everything around me, whether I believe it is good or not. God made it all, and therefore it is GOOD. I had always hoped that we might meet. Like many others, I would fantasize that we would become friends. I am sorry that I will never get the chance to find out if we would have been friends.
But all that is not the reason I will miss Rich. You see, Rich was just a man; just like you and me. In himself, Rich was not that special; none of us are. But God planted a piece of himself in Rich when he made him. He put a very special piece of him self inside Rich; a piece that allowed us to see a very small part of God's true nature. A piece that emanated love and joy and peace and wonder and happiness and ... Jesus. God gave this to Rich, and Rich choose to share it with the world. I greatly admire the man, Rich Mullins, because he was obedient in sharing that precious gift God trusted him with. I fear that many of us have not. I raise my hand first.
No, I mourn Rich's death because when he left, the gift left with him. I almost feel that there is less of God here on earth now... and that is a difficult though to deal with. But in all things, death is required to spring forth new life. I am confident that the gift God gave Rich will be reborn, and the glory will be awesome. And I know that God will sit on his+ glory radiating from every creation. And they look at each other and exclaim... It is good! My prayers and thoughts are with you during these most difficult times.
Dear Mullins Family,
May the God of all comfort during this time of sorrow. I am praying for you as you go through this. Your son was an example of how to live a life sold out to God.
Father for the privilege of having heard the Gospel of Christ through His faithful servant, Rich Mullins. We thank his family for faithfully supporting a man that touched so many lives with his music. We sorrow fully celebrate his return to the arms of Jesus. May the Peace of Christ be with all of us who have stayed behind. We love you and miss you, Rich... see ya soon!
Alex and Mariela
I can't say enough how God has used Rich Mullins music to enrich my walk with Jesus. Rich's honestly in his struggles and the example of the living Grace of God has truly been an encouragement.
Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of our son. Those of us who did not know him personally will certainly miss his ministry and his music, but we realize that you have lost a son. Our prayers are with you and your family. Thank for sharing your son with the world. He truly changed it.
Russ and Debbie Tidwell
On earth he sang to the One he had never seen but had known mightily through faith, almost as from a distant shore. Now he sings to Him face to face. No longer from a distance, his course now finished has brought him home. With songs so powerful and touching penned through faith, what must the songs be like now as he sings before the throne, the angels, and the redeemed. I can only wonder ....... as from a distant shore.
The Ward Family
I was blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Rich at a concert in Midland, MI last fall. During his concert he gave a thumb-nail sketch of his faith while discussing current issues. His theology struck me as being so perfectly simple, as if straight from the view of a child's eye. His lyrics constantly challenged me, not allowing me to become content or comfortable in my walk with our Father. Unlike so much of today's CCM, Rich's music spoke of a simple, humble everyday struggle to love one another , like in the song "Hard" from Liturgy. Listening to his music, one could just know that Rich understood their struggle and had walked in those same footsteps. We have lost our musical saint. May we all find the courage to live out our faith, picking up our crosses each morning as Rich did, with grace, hope, and passion to serve the Lord and His children.
I also wanted to share an experience I had with Rich. After a concert in Midland, MI last fall, Rich was talking to about 30 or so die-hard that had stayed late to speak with him. I think that he actually talked to each of us there personally, much to the dismay of his manager. I was the last in line, and only had time for a quick statement. So I said, "Peace be with you." I think this caught him a little off guard, but after a startled facial expression he said back, "And also with you" and then he turned and walked backstage. As Rich took inspiration and encouragement from the Life of St. Francis, let us, oh Lord, be inspired by the faith and love of your musical saint, Rich Mullins.
My prayers and thoughts are with all of you as Jesus called on your angel. WHY... we question why... with such a powerful ministry and a drive to do Godns work... but thank goodness, this is just a very temporary separation... as we will all hold hands and sing together soon.
Rich, you did leave joy... and your music will live in our hearts forever.
A sister in the Lord and fellow musician,
Words cannot express the thoughts and feelings I've had over the past days since I've learned of Rich's passing. I wish to express my heartfelt sympathy to his family and loved ones who have been left behind to mourn his loss from our place in time. My thoughts and prayers are with them. Rich's words and music have touched my life in many ways. They have lifted me up, touched my heart, and most importantly encouraged my walk with Christ. Rich was not only a gifted musician but truly a Minister. Than ks be to our heavenly Father for the blessing he gave us by creating and gifting Rich Mullins. We will miss him.
The Howell Family
I never got a chance to thank Rich personally for ministering to me during my mother's fight with cancer. His songs illuminate hope; a hope which has come to fulfillment for him and my mother--hope of a New Birth! He is more alive now than ever! So I thank you. As my mother taught her son, thank you for teaching your son.
Hopeful in Him,
I loved him without even knowing him. He seemed to have a song for everything I have experienced as a Christian over the past 5 years. When I was struggling with sin, the songs "The Love of God" and "Hold Me Jesus" were there. On Christmas morning my CD player would wake me up to the words "...You gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning." He didn't always write about the "spiritual", but he wrote about life of which we are body and soul as well. So, when he sung about "going to Wichita and borrowing Beaker's bike" he was sharing with us his memories and reminding us of the simplest pleasures of life that God grants us. That's what I loved about him, he didn't need to write about the cross, salvation, etc specifically, he found those things not only in the bible but in all of creation. He has helped me see God's world in a truly new and wonderful light.
Oh, when I get to heaven, after I see Jesus, I donnt care about seeing David, Paul, or any of them. The second one I want to see is Rich. I can't explain the connection I have felt for this man over the years. Maybe it is because we share the same birthday, I don't know. But, now that he's gone I pray that he knows the love that I have for him. I hope he's watching me from above.
Rich, you've inspired me to songwriting, playing the piano, the guitar, and the hammer dulcimer. I know you've got better things to do in heaven than check up on a fan of yours, but somehow I pray that you will find some joy in my ministry to others in song. I aspire to be like you, a humble, godly man. As one not at home in this world either I "hope I don't have to wait to long." May the Lord Jesus Christ come back for His pure, spotless bride and bring you with Him. I would love to play with you in the hammer dulcimer praise section in heaven. If I know you, we'll be in the back !!! I know you're not reading this, but I think they call it therapy. Thanks for listening. _
Your Old Friend
I came across this and it seemed to help my grief: "When you remember me, it means you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. I means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.n -- Frederick Buechner
He will be often remembered.
I was first moved by Rich's music when we sang his "hymns" at Mass. Each week it seemed like at least one song was written by him. "Awesome God" became our community's favorite and when Rich performed in concert at our church this past New Year's Eve, he found it astounding that we were so overwhelmed by this most inspirational piece. I passed on a trip to California to visit my brother so I could stay in Arizona and see him in concert. I will treasure the picture I had taken with him. Like so many have sa id, he was truly a humble man after God's own heart. Many times during the past few days, I have cried especially when I hear one of his songs. To have been so in touch with God and so untouched by the world is remarkable. Thank you Lord for speaking to us through this most gifted man.
Truly this was a man of few words, but timely and powerfully spoken because they were a reflection of his heart. His life still lives in his music...Praise the Lord! The lyrics "Live like you'll die tomorrow, Die knowing you'll live forever" were not just words, but a testimony of his life and a challenge to us all. His family and friends are in our prayers.
Rich's music was and still is a great inspiration to me. God blessed him with immense talent. I wish I could have met him. Someday I will!
Rich was such an incredible songwriter. He was sooo ahead of his time. Rich stayed at my house VERY early in his career while singing a concert at my church in Clearwater, FL. He amazed me with his lyrics and his genuine personality.
nItns about as useless as a screen door on a submarine, faith without works baby...n Who could have ever thought of such an awesome analogy except Rich?! He made some incredible contributions to the Christian music industry during his time here on earth. But WE ALL know where he is now. He's looking down smiling on us and in peace with the Father. Someday we can ask God why it was his time came so soon, but until then his legacy will live in my heart all of my life.
Love In Christ-
16 years old
This is a song that I'm sure Rich is experiencing right now.
Just To See
By: Windy Ariel
I can't wait to see those hands
Those hands that took the nails
Just to see your humble face
The face below the crown
I can't wait to embrace you
The man who bled for me
One day I'll meet you there
Lord I can't wait.... just to see
I think of all the sacrifice
The pain that you endured
You died, but now you live again
Can't wait for what's in store
Your love for me can not be measured
I can not comprehend
How a love like this could ever be
Unless it was sent from Him.
I can't wait....
Oh Lord I can not wait Just to see.
"But I see a people who've learned to walk in faith with mercy on+ h mercy and glory on our faces. Rich is with the Creator now, as all of soon will be. May we continue where Rich left off, By showing compassion and humbleness to the ones who do not deserve it. Thank you Rich for serving Jesus with whole heart and touching so many lives including mine.
I thank God for the ministry Rich had in my life. God worked through Rich and his music. I am so grateful for godly music that helps me meditate on God day and night and I'm so grateful that Rich is with our Lord. I chose one of Rich's songs to be played at my wedding. Then, just now, reading through the online coverage of Rich's life, I learned that my husband and I were married on Rich's birthday. What a great way to remember him!
Rich, his message and his music touched us all and left the fingerprint of Jesus. Thank you Lord for lending him to us.
So shocked and saddened to hear of Rich's tragic passing. His music is near and dear in our home and he will be missed. Now he will richly bless all those who are waiting for us at heaven's gate.
I join in many who will miss Rich and the wonderful music that God gave him. Just want you to know that I am praying for all of the family. May this corn of wheat that has fallen into the ground, bring forth much fruit.
His music touched my life, too, and helped me to have comfort and peace in the Lord during some tough times during the last 3 years. He was a very real person -- very honest and God used that to reach so many people. I know it gave me the courage to be more honest and real with people about my struggles and more appreciative of God's unconditional love and His great mercy. My favorite song of Rich's is one I never heard him sing in concert, but I know it must have come from his heart and to me it sums up his ministry through song. It seems he wanted to share himself with us, love us, lift us up from our loneliness or discouragement and bring us God's peace....
Though we're strangers, still I love you
I love you more than your mask
And you know you have to trust this to be true
And I know that's much to ask
But lay down your fears, come and join this feast
He has called us to be here, you and me
So may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise falling on these souls
This draught has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In the Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you Peace of Christ to you
Thanks for leading us toward this Peace Rich....see ya soon! My prayers are with you, Rich's family and Mitch and the driver of the truck....the Lord bless you and comfort you all...
Rich has revolutionized the way I see Christ in my everyday life. His down to earth songs have inspired all of us. A year ago I wrote Rich about troubles I was having with my roommates. If you can believe, Rich wrote me with his advice. I gave the letter to one of my roommates and we were able to overcome our problems.
His words & lifestyle was profound to me at a critical point in my life a while back. I just miss my friend. I want to see my friend and shake his hand.
I have always been a Christian, but only recently begun listening to Christian music on the radio. The music of Rich Mullins reflected so openly and honestly that which has always been in my heart but never was released in words. I find myself humming hi s songs to keep me focused on God's love as I go through my day teaching high school students. The love and strength of his words always help me remember that these kids need the Lord and they can see Him in me...I hope. Rich Mullins' songs remind me that there is nothing that cannot be accomplished if we follow Jesus' example and let God work through us...
And I think quietly that God must have a truly stunning garden because He harvests the most beautiful flowers to decorate His home. I can only imagine the joy and wonder of that vista... Thank you, Lord, for sharing enough of Rich Mullins with us to glimpse the glory of Heaven.
"Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elijah...saw him no more..." 2 Kings 2:11-12 KJV.
Second to God's love and grace, people are the greatest gifts the Father gives us. God works through others to teach us and bring us closer to Himself. Through his music and his "stories" at concerts, Rich was a spiritual mentor to me. Many others, besides myself, probably understand right now the sense of loss that Elisha felt after his mentor suddenly disappeared to be with the Father in heaven. For a long while Elisha had been learning from Elijah. Now Elisha had to go forward alone and carry out all Elijah had taught him. Elisha picked up Elijah's cloak, or mantle, and soon realized the Spirit of God was with him also.
For six years I have learned much about the Father from Rich Mullins. The song "Awesome God" introduced me to Rich's music. I'm a Minister. When I first heard Rich's music, the political situation in the church I was serving was anything but pleasant. " If I stand" became something I played daily to remind me that regardless of what happened in that church, it was God who had called me to ministry. No person could shut the door on something that God wanted me to do with my life. If I fell flat on my face, His grace would be there to catch me. Through the years, nIf I Standn has reminded me that my allegiance needs always to be nto the Giver of all good thingsn who is always with me.
God speaks to me through Rich's music. Some songs have been like new glasses that help me look at God's world in a different way. Some songs send me to re-read certain scriptures which the songs have made more alive. Other songs remind me of God's presence and love during times when life is tough and I am struggling. Countless times Rich's songs have helped me focus my thoughts of Jesus when real life hit me harder that I was prepared for. Rich always succeeded in conveying hope without turning reality into a fairy tale void of trials. When my prayers hit the ceiling. When tears blurred the words on the pages of my Bible. I have often put on Rich's music to remind me that God is still near and waiting to speak to me....
Sometimes through the words of a song, even more often in the silence after the music had played. Rich often reminded us to allow it to be quiet in our world. To turn off all the TV's, movies, and music and sit down and listen for the voice of God. And when God speaks to us, he hoped we'd not think it was something else. In my life, it seemed like God always had something to say when Rich Mullins was around.
Over six years, I attended seven concerts and three Cornerstone Festivals. Rich walked around the Cornerstone Festivals and talked with everyone he met. At Cornerstone '94, I became aware of how far reaching Rich's music was. One night after a concert I spent hours talking with two new found friends about how Rich's music had touched our lives. We were three people from very different states (Florida, Texas, and Maryland). The youngest was 15, 20 years younger than myself. The youngest and myself had walked with Rich to his truck at Cornerstone '93 but never talked to each other that year, then out of 20,000 people sit next to each other at Rich's concert at Cornerstone '94. These two ladies are still my friends. They have been "angels in disguise" in my life. Calling or writing at times when only God knew I needed a smile.
Just getting to attend concerts some years was an act of God. When expenses were tight in 1995, churches paid my travel expenses to interview in three different cities hundreds of miles from my home state when Rich and the Ragamuffins were playing in those cities. My timing belt broke on the way to Creation Festival '96 in Baltimore, Maryland, one exit away from the home of one of the friends I met at Cornerstone '94.
I have recognized God's hand at work so strongly that I've often looked around during Rich's concerts and wondered what stories other people there could tell. Now, I am hearing some of those stories as I read how God has touched thousands of lives through Rich Mullins. Many now understand how Elisha felt after his mentor went to be with the Father. We must carry the mantle and go forward with what w e have learned. We feel a great loss, but we are not alone.
Even now, as we grieve, we can remember these words that+ life, reach out to Jesus and hold on tight. He's been there before and He know what it's like. You'll find He's there".
I have felt sorrow and loss all week. His music has greatly touched me. My prayers and condolences to him and his family and his friends.
San Jose, CA
God has called one of his children home. I look forward to meeting him personally sometime in heaven. God is gracious for saving him and bringing him to be with Him.
A few weeks ago, I listened to the song "Dreamed I went to Heaven....". This came after a night of sitting & praying with Rich's music, as I often did. I realized I didn't want to wait until we met in heaven to say thank you to Rich. I sat down and shared with him, through a letter, just a few moments, of many in the past 10 years, in which God spoke to me, through his music. And how it's amazing how the same song can minister in so many different ways. Anyway, I thanked Rich for his ministry and the way it had touched my life I told him I didn't want to want for Heaven. Well, I mailed the letter. It returned to me the following week. Apparently, the address wasn't accurate. So, I put it aside and planned to find a correct address. It's still sitting on my table. It speaks as a powerful reminder not to wait to tell someone you care about how much you love them.
I'm sorry, Rich. I know you didn't do it for the fame, money or accolades. And it meant no less to you because you didn't hear from me. But I want to take this time to publicly acknowledge the powerful messages that God used you to communicate with us. I will miss your gentle voice, the lyrics that could knock me to the floor on my knees, and the love you spread in Christ's name.
In reading Acts 20:24-38a last night, I couldn't help but read it as Rich's letter to Christians. "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me -- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. .... Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God." Much of those verses, in my opinion, are the messages that Rich would have left behind for us, and indeed he did --- in music. But the part that tore me up, "What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again."
Someday, in heaven, I will tell him face-to-face. In the meantime, I will miss the challenge to my spirit. I will miss my friend, who only held my hand, and wiped my tears, through music. I cry for his family. I cry for us. But I do not cry for him. My solace, and all of our solace, is that God said "Well done, good and faithful servant."
I am deeply sorry for our loss of Rich. I say ours because I too am over taken about his death. His songs have inspired me from the first time I became a Christian. Awesome God is one of my favorites. May the Good Lord give you strength to believe that he is in the good hands of our savior.
I'm sure that I'm not the only one to say it, but Rich Mullins is one of the reasons that I am saved now. I left the church when I was 12, then one day skimming through the radio stations I heard "Awesome God" and "Creed" on KLTY in Dallas. It made me rethink my reason for living, I was going to school to be an electrical engineer because I wanted to have a lot of money, now I am an engineering technician and finishing that degree. And as soon as I finish that degree, I am going to go to seminary to be a pastor; I heard my calling. I believe that without his (Rich) music I would honestly be no closer to achieving those kind of spiritual goals than I was then. I was sad to hear of his death, but I know without a doubt he is with Our Father where he belongs. And some day we will be too. Thank God for Rich Mullins.
All God's Love,
My experience with Rich Mullin's music has been very important. While listening to his music, one cannot escape the love he has for the Lord and for those of us who would take the time to listen. I have seen many a Christian artist sellout to big time record companies yet Rich Mullins was one of those few that have stayed true to their first love, Christ. I hope that in these few weeks where so many famous people are passing on, that God is using this to show that people have their priorities in all the wrong places. More people grieve the loss of Princess Di, than the combined number for Mother Theresa, and Rich. I hope that everyone will see that disparity, and realize that God may have had a plan for taking such humble, caring, loving, true people after the death of one who was living for this world and not that of the Lord. As Rich Mullin's passes on, may his music and message continue to pass from one heart to another.
To the family and loved ones of Rich Mullins:
My wife brought me the horrifying news Sunday morning; I was in shock. I have been a "fan" or Rich's for the past 4 years. His music touched a cord deep within my soul that no one else, with the exception of the late Keith Green, had ever touched. When I listened to his music, it would catapult me to another place and time; his rich lyrics, coupled with the unusual sounds placed his music in a category all by itself.
My wife and I are deeply saddened by the loss of this dear brother and gifted musician. I remember Rich saying in an interview that music is something you do not need to live but paradoxically, something you cannot live without. Well, he is now with a heavenly chorus, singing the praises of our King!
While he no doubt had thousands of fans throughout the world, his loss must be especially felt amongst family. Please accept our heartfelt condolences and know that our prayers and thoughts are with you. May the God of comfort, whom Rich loved and sang so eloquently about, pour His mercy and grace into your lives.
Although his presence will no longer be with us, his spirit will linger on for generations to come. And his music will continue to minster to hungry hearts as long as we have breath.
Michael Kaplan and family
"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen." (Romans 11:33-36)
In the home-going of Rich Mullins, Christian music has lost its heart-- and my heart has lost it's music. He who was "from Him" and "through Him" has now been taken "to Him". Like Enoch: "He walked with God; and he was not, for God took him" And though God's ways are unfathomable, my heart is restless, "with a "thousand questions and a million heartaches." So suddenly and completely does God seem to remove his prophets. Whether it be Elijah on a chariot, John the Baptist with a swift blade, Keith Green in flames of fire, or Rich Mullins, catapulted from a jeep to eternity, God plucks His prophets from his battlefield like captured pawns.
Yet "though (they are) dead, (they) still speak." These are men whom God has called to cry out to the fainthearted worshippers. As we turn to see the voices crying in the wilderness, His prophets have vanished and God remains. What a prophetic picture was the conclusion of a Rich Mullins concert: Believers, closing their eyes to Rich, worshipped God. When the chorus of voices ended, and eyes were opened, Rich was gone, and we were left with Him with whom we have to do. This Monday morning I opened my eyes -- and again, Rich was gone -- and once again I was left worshipping Him.
And now, Rich is "backstage", as we "cast up our prayers (and praises) from the gravity and stone of earth", delighted that we are singing our "praise to the Lord" and asking, "Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high?" I didn't ever really understand why he wanted to "go out like Elijah," but now, maybe I do. Next to Jesus, Rich Mullins was the most homesick man I have ever known. He realized "the Spirit was leading him somewhere beyond all this,"; yet, he "longed for his home" and his heart burned within him to "wake from earthen dreams (to) rise on spirit wings."
Indeed, often times "the wind don't blow where you want it to go," but on a timely Friday evening, the howling wind would blow exactly where Rich always dreamed it would; and I'm sure he followed gladly. He prayed, "I will reach the other side; please don't let me have to wait too long?" Perhaps, "another hour" and "another mile" were "too long" for Rich Mullins to wait, not because his heart was too weak, but because His desires to be with Him were too strong. Many people say, "He's in a better place now". But, it seemed as though he were in a "better place", even among the living. He was "looking for the city whose architect and builder is God." To him the "other side of the world" really wasn't "so far away." He could see the other side of the world quite clearly from here.
The "winds of heaven" made a lot more sense to Him than "the stuff of earth.", and its glory shined on his face and its joy broke through in his smile. In a "never picture perfect" world, he enjoyed watching the "pictures in the sky" that "whisper(ed) of hope and shout(ed) of glory." His soul has finally been united to where his heart had long since been.
God has allowed Rich to teach me many things. He taught me to think deeply, honestly, and openly--that it's better to have a clear conscience than a crowded heart. That "it's o.k. to be lonely--as long as you're free"; that "if it sails off into the blue than (to) just let it soar, for the sky is better keeping. He gave me the courage--when I felt strangely alone--to "just let it soar." I ask myself why I miss him so much? Like many, through his songs I felt like I knew him. Yet, more than that, in his songs, I felt that he knew me. He knew (as he once wrote) that "we are all in this together, but at the same time "strangely alone." His songs were great solace to those who felt "strangely alone". He knew that "the thirsty listen(ed) and would down to the waters come." Though we were strangers, he loved us much more than our masks.
And always did he remind us of the One who knew us and loved us passionately and fully and supremely, even the Lord Jesus. On the "Elijah" remake, Rich sings "Here's my heart; take it where you will; The Jordan is waiting". Rich, the Lord has honored your request and answered your prayer. And, as the song fades, as if you believed that God would soon answer your requests to "cross through", you joyfully offer your parting farewell .."bye-bye". And reluctantly, I return it: "Bye-bye, old friend" "Farewell, my brave young companion." I will miss you eagerly.
Here's one for freedom!
To Rich's family and friends, including Beaker, Mitch, all the Ragamuffins, and others who were blessed to know and work with Rich Mullins, our hearts and prayers are with you.
Rich's words, wit and wisdom gave voice to the thoughts in the hearts of many. To me, he was more than a poet, philosopher, singer, songwriter, and musician. He was a man unshamed to speak aloud his love of God, unafraid to share his faith.
It seems only fitting that his own words pay tribute to him.
"Show me someone who makes a difference ..."
That was (and is) Rich. Yesterday, today, and the many tomorrows to come, he made a difference in people by drawing them nearer to God. He was (and is) truly one of the few good men.
"So don't hold out, don't let these chances pass you by ..."
Things need to be said and done. Love needs to be shared. Don't hold out.
"None are stronger than the humble, few are weaker than the proud ..."
When I saw Rich in concert in August, he was so humble, it was amazing. The thing that was the most wonderful to see was the love of Christ shining through him -- it was in the tears of joy in his eyes, and the way that his heart was in every word. He loved all of us, as He loves all of us.
"They worked to give faith hands and feet, and somehow gave it wings ..."
Whenever I hear this song, I think about how wonderful and loving his family must be. And he loved them right back. You can hear it in every word of this song. Kind of takes your breath away to think that God loves us in the same way. He teaches us, through His Word, the values which He holds highly, and then He takes a step back, so we can try our wings. And He's right there to catch us when we fall, like the good Father that He is.
"There's bound to come some tears up in your eyes That ain't nothing to be ashamed of I know there's bound to come some tears up in your eyes That ain't no reason to fear I know there's bound to come some tears up in your eyes Reach out to Jesus and hold on tight He's been there before and He knows what it's like You'll find He's there ..."
As we mourn the loss of our dear brother in Christ, tears are flowing freely down our faces. But we shouldn't be ashamed, or afraid, because these tears are really a combination of our sorrow and our joy, because we know that he is Home, where we all long to be.
"And you never know who God is gonna use A princess or a baby Or maybe even you or me ..."
We may not all reach as many people as Rich and his music did, but God has a plan for each and every one of us, and He put us where He wants us to be. Seize every opportunity to glorify God!
"I'd trade my pen in on a pair of wings ..."
And so you have, my brother. I know you'll have a big, thick anthology of new songs when we meet up with you in Heaven. Your words down here were a guide to understanding and getting closer to the Lord. Why should we think it'll be any different up there?
"And in dying, he's born again to live ..." "I believe in a life that never ends ..."
Death comes only to the flesh. The spirit is alive and well and has a forwarding address: Heaven.
"Heaven is waiting, just past the horizon, Just over the mesas, across the great divide ..."
I could go on and on, but this is the bottom line. We all know where we're going. We know the directions on how to get there, our One Way reservations are confirmed -- we just have an open ticket. Remember this: the most important thing you can leave behind is a legacy of love. Love one another.
I pray that these words bring comfort to those that mourn.
Love in Christ,
Rich Mullins was my hero long before I met him. Like thousands of his fans, I treasured up certain lines of his songs the way you store away all the sunsets, prayers and late-night conversations that break through your consciousness and change you forever. Rich seemed to have more than his share of startling, profound, life-giving insights into the heart of God - more than even the usual quota for prophets, poets, or saints - and they rhymed.
Naturally, I wanted to meet him, this guy who could title a song "The Maker of Noses" and make your own nose and eyes run the first time you heard it. In 1995 I got my chance. More than my share of chances, actually. I was asked if I wanted to go on a three month tour of 65 cities with Rich and Ashley Cleveland. I said "yes".
The tour started two weeks after the release of my first record. I was green, scared and completely unknown. I have since learned that there is a certain hierarchy to almost all tours, an appropriate and respectful deference to the headliner. Typically, an opening act's sound is quieter, the lights less bright. Everyone knows and observes these unwritten rules. Everyone except Rich, apparently. Every night he wandered out on stage, usually barefoot (so he wouldn't disappoint the fans who had come to count on his shoeless-ness), to introduce me to his audience, command for me their attention, and generously ease my way into the spotlight. Every show he let me have the time of my life singing harmonies and playing guitar on all those songs of his that had made him my hero in the first place. And he seemed to have a pretty good time himself bashing away at his dulcimer when he insisted on bringing Ashley and me back out on stage during his set to let us each showcase another tune with the aid of his Ragamuffin band.
Rich didn't have much use for the "industry" code in general. He insisted upon saying what he really thought rather than what he knew people would want to hear. He refused to attempt the veneer of perfection we like to gloss over our heroes, and instead was uncomfortably frank about his frailties.
Rich was not what you'd expect in a lot of other ways, too. I had become accustomed to a vague but growing dissatisfaction in myself and among my friends with the institution of the Church. If we went, it was because we knew we should, not because we felt it was what it should be. Not Rich. He loved church. He adored the feeble, faltering praise and worship that made the rest of us cringe. He said he loved to hear men sing out of tune.
He was like that about the Bible too. While I read the Bible because of a desire for guidance and a sense of duty, Rich read it because he thought it contained the most entertaining stories in the world. Those stories made him laugh that famous Mullins laugh, sometimes they made him cry, and always they fueled the fire in his heart to know the God of Jacob and David and Elijah better.
The day I found out Rich had died I could not get the words to his song "Elijah" out of my head. I later found out that many of his friends and fans had the same lyrics spring to mind:
When I leave I wanna go out like Elijah...
And it won't break my heart to say good-bye
I found myself having sort of an argument with him: "Sure, Rich, it's not breaking your heart to go, but what about the hearts you're leaving behind? Mine is shattered, and I know my grief cannot compare to those of your closest loved ones."
During the "Liturgy, Legacy ... Ragamuffin" days Rich was asked a lot about what kind of legacy he'd like to leave behind. I wonder if he had any idea how many lives he touched, how many hearts would be broken when he said "good-bye". Maybe he had an inkling of it. Maybe that's why he left us with "Hold Me Jesus" and about 80 other songs that will take us - if we let them - to the feet of the God of peace and comfort, the God who is probably making Rich laugh that famous Mullins laugh even as I type this.
I am only beginning to discover the extent of Rich's legacy in my own life. Sometimes when I am about to make a justifiable but none the less selfish career decision I am suddenly stopped short by the image of Rich on-stage, his hair still wet from his pre-show shower, asking his fans to please listen to my songs. Sometimes when I begin to return to the Bible or to Sunday morning services with the familiarity that breeds indifference I remember his passion for the things of God. I am undeniably better for having known him.
Rich Mullins was as human as they come. But he was what one writer has called a "living mystery" - he lived in such a way that his life would not make sense if God did not exist. May his songs and his memory be a legacy that gives us all the courage to follow his example.
- Carolyn Arends
I know that you will not have time to read all the mail which you are sure to get, in memory of your son, so I will make this brief. However, I wanted to let you know how much your Rich's music has effected the lives of those in our youthgroup, here in Colorado Springs. Rich was one of those rare people of whom you could say, without hesitation, "He was my friend", even though you never met him. He was a friend to each one of us, and a friend who taught us to look at the world in a different way than we had, before. He has enriched our lives with his songs and with the beauty of the insight which he gave.
The thing about rich was the purity of his music. He wrote as one who could look at life through the eyes of a child, a stranger, and the Creator, all at once. There was a simplicity about his words that spoke a kind of poetry which no other writer has ever penned. He gave us a look at God that we would not otherwise have had.
I am particularly fond of the songs "Growing Young" and "Jacob And Two Women". Growing Young really means a lot to me, as a former prodigal son, turned minister. The lyrics are among the most beautiful ever written. And, as far as "Jacob and Two Women" goes, no one but Rich could have summed up the history of the nation of Israel in such a way that painted a picture in our hearts and minds, as though we were seeing it through the simplicity of God's eyes--a picture that I will always carry with me (and view, whenever I close my eyes and think of Rich).
We feel your loss and want you to know that we are presently mourning with you. Rich taught us so much about life. You will never know the number of the hearts of those who never knew him but called him "friend". The world has lost one of the greatest lyricists with whom it has ever been blessed by God. But he has left us a legacy of dreams and insight that have inspired us to see the invisible things which can only be seen with the hearts, and to reach for the intangible things of that heavenly realm, God's perfect gifts to those who seek Him in the simplicity of Jesus Christ.
May the Lord comfort you in this time of sadness and bless you with the knowledge that the music of Rich Mullins will be felt in the hearts of men, women, and children, for generations yet to come. Our radio station played a tribute to Rich, last night, ending with "Hold Me Jesus". Rich got his wish. Jesus is holding him, tonight.
Your friend and servant in Christ,
Colorado Springs, CO
I have just this week heard of the death of my favorite Christian Musician - Rich Mullins and wanted to share with someone how his music and message have affected me here in Australia.
When visiting America in 1989, I attended a concert at a Church near Disneyland -Melodyland I think it was called. That's when I first heard him. Congregations and choirs all around Australia were singing Awesome God. Wow ! I was a fan from that moment. I bought his albums (cassettes then) and fell in love with his style. I loved the way he could express his faith in a way I hadn't heard anyone do so before.
I eagerly awaited new releases. In the meantime I started to realise that other stand-out songs from other artists were also written by Rich. I had the privilege of meeting Rich in 1994 at the National Youth Workers Convention in San Diego. I had a photograph taken with him that I still proudly have on the wall next to my desk.
I have shared his albums with anyone who was prepared to listen to them and "converted" many people to his music. We talk about what certain songs mean to us. I have quoted his songs in sermons, quoted his Release articles in messages, always amazed at the way he can bring across his faith in a way no one else could.
One of my favorite songs is the Maker on Noses. I asked him what was the inspiration behind the song - what flash of brilliance led him to write it. He told me that there was one day left in the studio and the record company told him that he needed another song ! To me that says God uses ordinary people in ordinary circumstances from ordinary places and he works through them to do EXTRAORDINARY things. Rich Mullins did that for me. His words helped me crystalize aspects of faith. His songs helped me go a little higher and a little further and a little deeper.
An ordinary boy from Indiana U.S.A helped an ordinary boy from Ipswich Australia. Maybe he didn't go out like Elijah. He probably lived like he would die tomorrow. He died knowing he'll live forever. And he inspires me to do the same.
As Irving Berlin said, The song is finished but the melody lingers on.
For me Rich Mullins was a poet and a prophet who called me back to God time and time again. His lyrics and melodies spoke to my soul the words God needed for me to hear. Sometimes soothing, sometimes stirring. I grieve for the loss that is in our world now he has left us. Keith Green, Mark Heard, now Rich Mullins - those who are here for such a short time leave us a valuable legacy of challenge and inspiration. But we would rather have them back!
I am so sorry for the pain and sorrow his family and friends will be going through now. He was a true son of God in this dark and scary world. Allow God to comfort you. Trust Him to work in your life even as you go through this terrible pain. He will work in the way that is right for you, even if it is different from how others grieve. What you feel now is normal, what is not normal is what has happened to the one you loved.
We long for something more than this and rest on the promise that one day our pain and suffering will be less than a distant memory, and we will be with our Lord, as Rich is. God knows we long for something far better than this world. But, until we reach that place, He will journey with us as He journeyed with Rich.
God's strength ... for the journey.
Perth, Western Australia.
I wanted to extend my deepest sympathy to Rich's family. I am an amateur Christian singer and Rich Mullins was one of my biggest inspirations. I had the opportunity to see him when I was in college and had never heard his music before. I turned it down. I heard his music shortly after that and have been touched by the spirit of it ever since. I regret never having seen him in concert. I do know that the heavenly choirs will sound even more beautiful with him there.
In deepest sympathy
I'm an AWANA leader for 5th and 6th grade girls. One of our favorite songs is "Our God is an AWESOME God" We have sign actions and everything. Not very many people, over the passage of time, know where that song came from. And what little I know of Rich, I know he would have been very pleased that the focus was on the Praise of our Lord, and not on the author of the song. As the dj on light99 has expressed, "It's funny how I've come to appreciate his songs even more, now." I regret not ever getting to a concert. But my appreciation of his craft, of the hammer dulcimer, which he used in the best way I've ever heard, of his life, of three days of a slow drizzle and/or rain, has all been an expression of praise for me this week. "When I die I want to go out like Elijah" has ran through my head all weak and that wasn't even my favorite song of his! All I can say is, "Thank you Lord, for allowing us to experience this man." He has helped us find a deeper relationship with the Father. To close I want to quote a couple of lines from the little booklet I purchased a couple of years ago from Rich Mullins. "I don't know if God wept at Moses' funeral. I don't know if He cried when he killed the first of His creatures to take its skins to clothe this man's earliest ancestors. I don't know who will bury me----"
We who love you, Rich.
In his own words...
"And now the night is fading
The storm is through
And everything you sent to shake me
From my dreams they come to wake me
In the love I find in you
And now the morning comes
And everything that really matters
Become the wings
You send to gather me
To my home
To my home
I'm going home"
I am so sad to hear about your son's death. I have just recently discovered his music and I could really hear God through his songs. I am especially touched by the way his music touches my children. My 5 year old daughter and 7 year old son love to sing along with his CD and much of their image of God has been painted by Rich's words.
I know that your heart must be broken right now, but I hope that it is some consolation to you that your son has touched so many lives. And we all await the day when we can join him in heaven and sing "Our God is an Awesome God."
God bless you,
This is one of those times when we realize how inadequate words really are. I feel that I am writing the letter that I always intended to write to Rich. How sad when we let time slip away... Rich is the only artist I've really ever followed, so to speak. I own all of his tapes on CD and most on tape as well, I went to all of his area concerts, and read his Release articles. My daughters and I have such wonderful memories of his concerts - going to bookstores, amusement parks, and churches, just to hear him perform the music we listened to day after day. His music was always a source of comfort, conviction and inspiration. With every new release, I had a new favorite song. The christian family has suffered a tremendous loss and we will miss you terribly Rich. In our time of mourning these lyrics come to me again and again - "If I stand, let me stand on the promise that you will pull me through And if I can't, let me fall on the grace that first brought me to you If I sing, let me sing for the joy that has born in me these songs But if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home."
The Bessent Family
Rich's impact on me and those around me was tremendous during his life. Now as his life in Christ continues, his music takes on an increasing significance as I imagine him singing them from heaven. The lyrics and music are truly more powerful than ever now. I'm thankful for the life and ministry of this godly man. As much as I will miss him, I am glad that he is with the Lord now.
As I readied my self to lead music worship ( I was simply filling in for our vacationing director ) it was about 6 am.... I had the local CCM station on WFRN and I heard the news break. I cried... my wife and I were lucky enough to have been "backstage greeters" at 2 different concerts here in South Bend, Indiana. We were able to talk to Rich in a very relaxed conversation. That was just Rich... relaxed with other people... and I felt like I'd seen inside his heart.
It's different to hear of someone passing when you really don't know them.... but having talked to Rich.... having felt his REAL love of the Father.... what a sadness it is. It does give me more of a sense of "time is runnin' out" with my own music ministry... we HAVE to reach as many as we can. And Rich reach so many.
I've been changed by his music.... but, moreover, I've been changed by his spirit and his ministry.... and I'll be eternally grateful.
God bless your family and friends, Rich...and may God keep you in the palm of His hand....always.
"small paul" <:}}}}}}><\
I sit here listening to the radio going through Rich's songs as a tribute to his life. Listening to his songs is sort of like listening to God speak directly to me. They have touched me and I am thankful for each and every one. It is funny sometimes how we hear sad news and how it effects us. I was sitting in a Geoff Moore and the Distance concert Saturday night (9/20). We had just got done praying and Geoff asked us to sing a song that wasn't his - it was Awesome God. We were singing our hearts out in joy. We had just got done singing it for the second time when he told us the news of Rich's passing. I immediately began to cry. I guess more out of shock. The hardest thing was Sunday morning telling my church friends that a great Christian musician and friend had died. No matter our loss, it truly is heaven's gain.
God Bless you Rich and see you in Heaven!!!
Although we never met him, his music changed our lives. More than any other musician, Rich had a way of making Jesus real. Rich lived the life he claimed he had. We shall surely miss him.
Bill & April Gilligan
- "Hold Me Jesus, I'm shaking like a leaf."
I only "discovered" Rich in the last year, but his music has had a powerful impact on my Christian walk. He had a way of hitting me right between the eyes with the truth, and it made me very uncomfortable in my complacency. The greatest thing, though, was the grin attached to that "truth between the eyes". That's what gave me the encouragement to get up out of my comfortable place and live what I believe. Our loss is heaven's gain. Can your imagine the rockin' going on up there?!
I saw Rich in concert two times. Two of the most profound times of worship in my life. Above all, it was his sincerity and authenticity that appealed to me. What you saw was what you got, bare feet and all.
Of course, his music was great, and kept getting better. It wasn't until I entered the ministry that I realized that Fanny Crosby, not Rich, wrote "All the Way My Savior Leads Me." It is these words, of the last verse, that I wish to remember him by at this time.
All the way my Savior leads me;
Oh the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest in me is promised,
In my Father's house above.
When my spirit, clothe immortal,
Wings it's flight to realms of day,
This my song thro' endless ages;
Jesus led me all the way.
This my song thro' endless ages;
Jesus led me all the way.
I rejoice that Rich is now in that perfect peace. May God grant us that peace as we pick up the pieces and move on.
-- Grace & peace,
Rich was a wonderful person, a true Gift to the world from God. While I did not know Rich very well, I had had the opportunity on more than one occasion to visit with him. He was a student teacher at my son's school and Keith (my son) loved him. When I told Keith about the accident, he was very sad and said he would miss him. But, in true form, my ever compassionate son was concerned how his former music teacher would be handling the death of a friend. I used to work at Friends University, so I knew Rich from there, also. In addition, a couple of friends of ours, Chuck Haukos and Jimmy Fletcher, were close friends of Rich.
Even though Rich is no longer with us, at least he left us the legacy of his music, which will live on in the hearts of many for years to come.
May God bless you and sustain you in your time of need.
I would like to express my deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your son. I met Rich while at Milligan College. My memory of him is that he was someone who had God's own heart and love. Having seen Rich in concert many times since then, I have always appreciated his music for its ability to draw my closer to God. His music made me think about my own walk with Christ and constantly challenged me. Thank you for raising a boy who loved Jesus and grew to be a man of God. I pray that my son will show that same love for God and for others as he grows.
Castle Hills Christian Church
San Antonio, TX
I was so sorry to hear of Rich Mullins death. My first reaction was to say "why". I realized this is a selfish thought. He is now with our Father. Rich made us so happy with his music, now he is happier than he ever could be here and he deserves to get back the happiness that he gave all of us. Just think, some day we will see him again. I like to think of friends and family that have left us as they are on a well deserved vacation and when it is time, we will get to join them. My prayers are with his family. We all loved him. I am grateful for the time, though short, that we had with him.
From the moment I received a free Reunion sampler cassette tape at the Memphis stop of the Michael W. Smith's "Go West Young Man" tour, and I heard the promo for Rich's "The World As Best As I Remember It," I knew that this man was God's.
When I first heard that Rich was home, it didn't sink in. I didn't believe it. I found out from a blurb on the AP newswire at the local public radio station that I work part-time at that what I so wanted to deny was in fact truth. This is my 5th year of college, and there is not one living person on the earth that has helped me see Jesus more than Rich Mullins.
As I tried to fall asleep to "Songs" last night, I thought of the one concert of his that I had gone to. Nothing fancy. A local youth minister brought the Brother's Keeper tour to Jonesboro High School's gymnasium. I helped set up the stage in exchange for a ticket. I sat on the front row as Rich told me what it was like for the Native American people. He had a cold, or the flu, or something, but sometimes his voice would crack as he strained, and it made it all the more sincere. Here was a man after God's own heart. A man that could set off thousands of tiny fires inside my soul about what God is all about, and what it means to live a life fit for Him alone.
My friend Chris called me last night to ask if it was true. I had to confirm it. She told me of that same night, when after the concert she met Rich, and he signed her book, simply-- "Be God's...Rich."
Therefore, I write to you now.
A friend on my dorm floor at Iowa State introduced me to Rich's music back in 1986. His tunes were different and catchy at a time when Christian music was just beginning to grow. I bought both his debut album and "Pictures in the Sky" on vinyl one day, and his music has been my favorite ever since.
I've told countless people, believers and unbelievers alike, how much I enjoyed his ability to paint a picture for you with words. His songs take you from the banks of the Cumberland River, to the Great Plains; from the decadence and greed in our country, to the glory of God's creation singing out. He told us about growing up in his family, his relationships, and his dream of the kingdom to come. He championed truth and took a stand against the lies of humanism and evolution. He encouraged the saints to stand firm, to believe and to grow up in the faith; yet he wasn't ashamed to tell of his struggles and ask Jesus to hold him.
And so Jesus is holding him now.
To God: Thanks God, for letting Rich sing and write all the songs he did for us. I'm looking forward to hearing his next album in Heaven! It was a pleasure to have met him at a couple of concerts. Thanks for touching my life time after time, through this brother.
To Rich's family and friends: Thanks for sharing him with the world and for giving him a real life to write and sing about.
To Rich: Thanks. Peace, brother. See you when it's time.
Rich Mullins enriched my faith and worship with his lyrical mastery and musical genius. When I heard that he died, I drove straight home, put on his CD and cried.
Rich, I'm going to miss you bro! But I know that your probably up with their with the angels worshipping God...which is what you devoted your life to.
The world truly lost a great, humble, Godly man last Friday. However, we can all find comfort in the FACT that Rich Mullins is resting peacefully in the arms of his Savior. Even a man like Rich is left without a word to say (as he so rarely found himself while on earth) at the glory he sees now. Perhaps he'll just sit there for 100,000 years looking at the glory before him and just say, "wow!" Then, he'll spend all eternity singing praises to the God who created him to minister to so many. And he'll take request from Jesus. I know Rich is having a great time. And I know God is sooooooooooo happy to have this precious child at home. Finally. We'll miss you Rich, but the Heavens are rejoicing to welcome you into your new home. May your life be a testimony to the love, peace, grace, and power found only in Christ Jesus, our Savior.
We'll miss you!
I can thing of better ways to passing on to glory. Why do the good always seem to die young? Will miss his message in song greatly. One of the songs that I love the most is My God is An Awesome God. What a powerful praise song. Condolences and best wishes to his family.
Thank you Lord for your promise in 1 Corinthians 15:51-58
Dan & Sharon Baptista
Rich brought the presence of the Holy Spirit many times in my life while playing his music. I'm reminded of the time my friend and I were witnessing to some youth in our neighborhood and they liked the tape so much they stole it! We chalked it up to evangelism.
Peace.....not as the world gives
I just want to express to you, Rich's family and friends, how sorry and saddened I was to hear about Rich's accident. I am praying for you all to be comforted by God and for the full recovery of Mitch.
Rich is my all time favorite singer and songwriter and has been for many years. What always struck me about his music was the poetry of it, and how he could capture such profound truths in a simple phrase. When I listened I felt like he was speaking right to me in a language I could understand, and speaking refreshing, hope-giving truth, truth that encouraged me through difficult times and definitely encouraged me in pursuing my relationship with God. He comforted and convicted and encouraged at the same time. I got to see him in concert once at Footloose in Dallas/Fort Worth in 1989 and I always wanted to see him again. I am feeling sad for those of us who are left behind and missing him, but very happy for Rich because what he desired most in this life has finally happened - he has met Jesus in the sky and now is beholding the face of Love!
Melissa M. Nelson
I am really sorry to hear of Rich Mullins' passing. Sometimes we do not understand why things like this happen. We now look through a glass darkly, but someday we will see and know, when we see Christ face to face.
We shall also see Rich again, when we join him at his new home!
I am sorry to hear of the loss of one who held the faith and proclaimed it in word and action. We know we will see him on that day when Christ returns for His church.
Rich Mullins was a great artist! His love for Christ in his music has inspired me in the past year. His version of "Sing Your Praise To the Lord" was the most inspirational to me because when I was going through some tough times at home. There was something in that song that made me think about praising God. I feel that I am a born again Christian because of that song, I cry every time I hear it because it means so much to me.
Another song of his that ministers to me is "Sometimes Step by Step". His lost was a great one, but, he is Home where God wanted him to be. May his music live on forever!
I have to say that I really didn't understand worship until I went to one of Rich's concerts. It wasn't just a concert for entertaining, but a concert of worship and insight to my personal walk with the Lord. I recognize that Rich's family and friends are hurting over their loss, but I'm sure that Rich is still being used by God even as we speak.
My favorite concert of Rich's was at SMU's McFarland Auditorium in Dallas, Texas. Knowing Rich Mullins from our "younger" high school days in Richmond, Indiana... knowing the great difficulty he had being unable to fit in with the "future Farmers" and the "Mr. Basketballs" at school... it was a warm, peaceful feeling to see him on stage, barefoot, torn jeans, sharing his unique, beautiful talent with the world. He'd made it... doing what he loved... in his own way.
Just a short note from two fans in N.Ireland. We only heard the news on the 24 & 25 Sept and to say it was a shock is something of an understatement. We were looking forward to seeing Rich at Greenbelt earlier this year.
Our deepest sympathy to the whole family circle and a prayer that Mitch's recovery is a speedy one.
Our God is an awesome God.
The Prog Family
I first really listened to Rich about 4 years ago when I was struggling with trying to figure out what God was doing with me and my family. I was being forced out of a job and I didn't understand it. I got "Liturgy, Legacy..." and listened to it about a thousand times. God changed my life through Rich's music. I've never, ever been impacted so tremendously by someone I never met, although I feel like I knew Rich well. This past summer in Lubbock, I got to see Rich in concert for the first time, with Mitch. It was one of the highlights of my Christian life. I'm so thankful for him. I'm sad, but I can just imagine Rich walking around heaven, meeting people he's sung about for years, barefoot, old jeans, t-shirt...talking to Elijah, Abraham, Moses, Paul. Can you imagine how incredible happy he is?
Thank you Rich. Thank you Jesus.
His music has always been an inspiration. His voice and song writing talents will be missed. But , Praise the Lord for the time that we were blessed with Rich's presence. In live and in death, this man made a difference. In spite of his tragic death, I rejoice in knowing that he is now "Singing Praise to the Lord" in person. To his family our sympathy but also our thanks for sharing this unique treasure with the rest of us.
I first heard Rich's music when I listened to Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth. I have since tried to collect all of Rich's musical projects. I am the type of person who gets VERY emotionally charged over a good song, and I'm here to tell you, Rich has given me goosebumps, made me feel like I was the wind blowing across the prairie, put me spiritually on my knees, and made me want to reach for his Awesome God many times over. His music has touched my family and I deeply. My children still want me to play "Awesome God" every time I turn on the stereo. My wife (who listens to music, but doesn't absorb it like I tend to) told me several times that his lyrics seemed to make her feel as if she should be on her knees in prayer.
I sometimes feel that Rich may have known his end was near, and was trying to help us understand that he may be gone from this earth, but he is now basking in the glory of God the Almighty, and that we need to focus not on Rich's passing, but rather where he was passing to. And IN that passing there is great joy. I am deeply saddened by his death, but strangely, I weep for the feelings of loss I know his family feels, I weep for the music he had in him that we will never hear, but I cannot weep because he is dead. After all, what is death but the beginning of our eternal life with Him? I am joyous that Rich is where he always knew he belonged.
"When I go, I wanna go out like Elijah..." You did my friend. And we will miss you until we can one day be with you, and thanks to your lessons and music, we WILL be with you to thank you personally some day.
Rich was simply the best. No other Christian artist has made the impact on my life as has Rich Mullins. He will be missed more than I can put into words, but I know I will see him again. Thank you Rich.
I was so upset at the hearing of Rich's death. My husband, Dean, introduced me to his music in college and I instantly became a great fan. His death, Princess Di's and Mother Teresa's has forced the rest of us to get up and do things for others. Rich seemed to be a "do-er" and I hope people will learn to say that about me.
I got a chance to go to one of Rich's concerts here in Wichita in January at Century II. My sister-in-law is probably one of the biggest fans of Rich's I know. I was the one who broke the news to her, and she cried so hard that we had to break our conversation. I think she put it best when she said that she was basically sad for herself and being a little selfish, because she knew that Rich was home now. His music will live on in us forever.
We love you Rich,
I guess we just have to give ourselves time to heal. I was talking to someone last night about his death, she hadn't heard yet, and she starting crying and she remembered that she had heard a prophecy for what 1997 would hold for Gods people. One of them was that He was going to call home some of his most precious saints. That helped me to know that God really did want him home! I had some light-hearted thoughts this week about Rich's passing. One was "Well the Lord must've been running out of room in heaven between Rich and Mother Theresa's rewards being stored up there, so He went ahead and took them home so there'd be enough room for the rewards for the rest of us!" Kinda corny I know, but it helped me to lighten up anyway! Well I hope these poems comfort you and others who read them. Rich had a very profound impact on my life, mainly that my talent the Lord gave me in poetry and music laid dormant for over 20 years. I have been a rich fan for 10 years and over the last 3 the Lord has really used his music to call those withered things in me back to life. God gave me the talent, then used Rich to bring it out, so I will give God the glory and Rich the honor, do you think he'd mind? I love you Rich, cant wait to see you soon!
Love your friend,
My sister and I interviewed Rich in Columbus, Ohio. We appreciated his inspirational songs and Christian dedication to the Lord.
With deepest sympathy.
Bob & Tina Peterson
I'm sorry to hear that one of my Christians brothers has died. May the Lord be with his family and may all remember that he is NOT in heaven but awaits judgement in his just like the rest of us alive. God brings laughter in sorrow and hope for tomorrow. He's my peace in the midst of storm.
I am so shocked. As one as his fans it is really hard to except his death. But we all got to face it knowing he is in a better place...with God! We are losing the most precious people of the world. Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, now Rich Mullins! We will always remember him.
thoughts are with all of his family, Danae Meers
P.S.: He was a good man!
The reason Rich's death has touched me so deeply is because I did meet him and talk to him. I know lots of people who love the Lord and love to serve him but, Rich did more than that. He radiated God's love. The few times I saw him, there was always a bright glow that encircled around him like no one else. I think that's why so many people were drawn to him. They could see God's love shining through him. Maybe not with their eyes, but with their hearts. god used him to spread the love of Jesus. And, as Rich has said before, "It's good to be used". I can not weep for Rich's death because I'm glad that he's finally with the Lord, but I do weep for those he left behind. And I pray for you everyday. Especially his family and closest friends. And a special prayer goes out to Mitch and the truck driver, may God give you healing and peace. Thank you God for giving us Rich and his wonderful gift.
I only met Rich once. It was last year in Arkansas. I am a domestic brother in a religious community founded by John Michael Talbot - the Brothers and Sisters of Charity and also a musician.
We were gathering for the first meeting of C.A.M. (the Catholic Association of Musicians) and Richie was invited to John Michael's hermitage by a mutual friend - Stephen Connolly (co manager of Kathy Troccolli at that time). Stephen introduced us. He (Rich) was such a gentle, humble spirit. Later that evening we had a concert in Eureka Springs AK. Richie sat in the back - was unshaven of course - and smiled throughout! He filled all with peace and joy that night without doing anything!
He is where we all want to be. May Christ give his family, friends peace and knowledge of His resurrection.
Your little brother in Jesus,
Just some ramblings as I listen to some of his songs, and mourn his passing:
So did it break your heart to say goodbye?
Are we forgiven that ours broke
And spilled the steaming blood-red tears
That smoldered in our eyes?
And though we hold on to our One Thing
The music of your soul
Was all too often the one thing
That gave us courage to hold on.
You were our friend though we you never knew
And did not have a chance to be just friendly
Your music twisted round our souls
and by it we reached out to Jesus
And so tonight sorrow is my ocean
And the fury of the Love
Breathes through my soul and cries
as now the door lies open in your sky
Dear Jesus, wrap your loving arms around Rich's family and friends, comfort them. Lord, I pray for Mitch that you would put your loving healing hand on his body and heart. Thank you, Lord. I am so sad about Rich's death even though I know he's home with Jesus.
September 22, 1997
To the Family and Friends of Rich Mullins;
We attended Rich's final concert in Crystal Lake, Illinois on August 16, 1997. God used Rich to reach us in a very special way, and changed our lives forever. We want to tell you that story.
We had been having extreme difficulties with our family. One day, after prayer and fasting, I (Chris) received a message from God - and it was the words to "Step by Step" or "Sometimes by Step." I told my husband (John) that I needed to hear that song right away for a further understanding of that message, but we could not find it on any tape or CD we had. John played "Awesome God" for me in its place.
We then got into the car to go to church. Within moments we heard WCFL (104.7 FM out of Morris, IL) play an announcement for Rich's concert on August 16th at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Crystal Lake, IL. The song that led into the concert announcement was "Sometimes by Step." I told John that we had to be at that concert because that is where God would give us the answer to our prayers.
We went to Rich's concert and it was the best concert that either of us have attended. It was small, personal and filled with the Spirit. It was so exciting to see Rich at the back of the room before the concert began. Rich then sat down next to John while Mitch McVicker sang. At John's urging I leaned over, said hello, and Rich gave me an autograph. He was so gentle and kind.
Rich and his accompanying musicians' inspired singing, dulcimer playing and praise of the Lord was evidence that God truly was with us that night. It was a stormy night and as the lightning flashed through the windows behind the stage, it added intensity to Rich's songs, such as "Calling Out Your Name." Such haunting, beautiful intensity and passion.
Towards, the end of the concert, I told God that I had not yet heard His message, but that I was listening and ready. Then Rich stopped the music, stood by his keyboard and with closed eyes, he began to minister to all of us. What he said was my answer from God --- and in a prophetic way was also his answer as to the change he was about to face. He talked about this being his last concert after the four month tour. He said that we should not be afraid to face change and as one door closes another opens. He talked about the courage to face new things in our lives with God as our guide. He then followed this with "Sometimes by Step" and then "Creed." It was then, without a single doubt, we knew that God had spoken our answer through Rich.
We needed an answer about a very large change for me (Chris) as to whether or not to leave where I work as a solution for the family problems. Our answer from God, and through Rich, as "yes." After the concert, we stayed behind to let him know about how we were led to the concert and the message that he delivered to us. He seemed pleased to know that he was able to bring this message to us. He signed an autograph for our daughter, Janina. He wrote "Janina, be God's."
The impact of this message is one that we wish he could have known. It will bring us into Romania to help the people there. Our daughter Janina, is from Orphanage #1 in Bucharest. Chris has wanted to return there and bring something to the country and its people for the gift of our precious little one. By leaving her current position, God has allowed this to occur. On November 1st, Chris will leave for Romania to return the love and God's blessing to the country that gave us our precious daughter.
It is important for you to know that Rich's goodwill and love of children lives on. This time through the orphans and poor children of Romania. If there is anything we can ever do to relay this testimony or to carry on with one of Rich's works, please let us know.
A door opens and we go through Step by Step. Rich's music changed our lives and we will step out to follow his example and change the world.
May God Bless you as He has blessed us through Rich's music.
With all our love,
John and Christine Van Horn
Dear Mullins Family:
I would like to tell you about the impact Rich had in my wife and I. You see, we were saved about 4 years ago, by the grace of GOD and the constant "Jesus" walk-of-life one of our friends. After many months of learning about GOD, we became born again Christians. I love music, and I had a very hard time trying to find music that promoted GOD and HIS principles. This friend of ours gave us a Rich Mullins tape to borrow, and I have to tell you, that tape really opened my eyes to a different world. Rich's message and music were something that my wife were looking for, and finally found. This friend on ours who gave us the tape was able to attend a Rich Mullins' concert last April in St. Louis, and her fiancee was able to get Rich's attention on the ticket line. Rich came up to him and he asked if he would call his fiancee's name over the microphone and ask her to marry him. Rich did it, no problem, he said.That personal touch and attention he gave to complete strangers touched me.
Rich Mullins was a Christian, he showed the world that you can achieve what GOD wants you to achieve and still be simple in your ways, with the knowledge that whatever you have and do is because of GOD's love for you. I am sad as you are, but I also know that right now Rich is in heaven, with the psalmist David, singing majestic songs to his very best friend JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To The Mullins Family,
I never met Rich, and I think I attended one of his concerts, but I do have some of his music. I was shocked when I heard about his death on Tuesday Morning. He had an incredible impact on my life. He was responsible for much of my early growth as a Christian. When I heard of his death I thought, where's God's mercy and then God showed me that God was merciful enough to bless many thousands of lives with the gifts that Rich possessed. Rich had the ability to reach into the heart of the hurting and in his own words, ('m sure inspired by the Holy Spirit) help those see God's mercy, love, grace and the hope we all have in Christ. I also Believed that God showed me that he was merciful by taking Rich from us. as opposed to allowing permanent damage to this man of God. I will probably never meet you, except maybe in Heaven, I can't tell you that I understand how you are feeling, because that is not possible. But I can tell you that Rich made an impact and a significant difference in the lives of many and I know that as I and others continue to hear his music, his legacy of love for Christ will continue to eternity.. I am praying for you and for Mitch and his family. I am not sure of his condition but I heard it was critical. I pray that God chooses to have mercy on mitch and his family. May God chose to place His merciful hand on you during this time and from this day on.....
I want you to know how your life has so deeply affected mine. I see in your life, an empty vessel that God filled and used, I see a love for God and a sense of the true reality of heaven accompanied by an overwhelming longing to be there. I have seen Christ. And because you gave your life to see His praise, my cup has been filled to the point of overflowing...I have seen in you the true joy that can only come from completely serving Him. Because, through Christ you have touched me...I will in turn touch countless others, and I am only one of many.
Thank you for your life...
I know that I'll see you soon...
Rich seemed to love God with the most child-like faith. He encouraged me daily with his incredible talents, and he still will.
How can my mere words say what I'm feeling. The reality that there will be no more of Rich's songs forthcoming brings me to tears. He embodied what a Christian brother should be. While so many of us miss the mark, Rich was a beacon for those of us who are poor reflections of the Christ. Man, I know all my feelings are selfish, I really will miss him. I don't apologize for that.
His music met me in places that no other did. "The Color Green" totally blows my mind. What words pictures! I can barely listen to him right now. I don't know if I should go ahead and cry it all out or wait and give myself time to deal with his departure before I listen again. It hurts more than it should. I know he's where he wanted to be. He is walking with Jesus right now. I will one day hear him sing again. Alas, good job thou good and faithful servant... I can almost hear the Father say!
i feel fortunate that i was able to hear his music, his stories, and his message live once. I wish it had been many times. I wish i would have known him personally - his lyrics are so touching to me that i know he would have been a wonderful friend. I pray for all of you who are missing his presence in your life. I will miss the music that was yet to come but hold on dearly to that which we were given. God must have needed another angel...
Dear Mrs. Mullins,
I weep with you at the loss of your son. His music influenced the world and impacted my life, for music touches the soul in a way that nothing else can. Rejoice in knowing that today he sings with the angels.
May God bless you during this time of releasing back to the Lord,
a gift that was placed in your hands for a brief time.
May God hold you close in His loving arms,
When I first heard a song by Rich that talked about Noah or someone being "three sheets to the wind", I thought who is this wacko!... but the more I listened, the more I liked him. The girl who introduced me to his music wanted me to figure out his music so she could sing it during that evening's church service... but I couldn't get it ready in time, because the music was too complex! When I'm tooling down the highway, I love to pop in "While the Nations Rage" and belt it out at the top of my lungs... It will really be something to hear what he writes in the kingdom!
Praise God for his servant Rich Mullins.
We were blessed by his commitment to be faithful to his gift and share it. Thanks Rich !!
Rich's life has touched so many of us! He was truly an example of a godly man. And, he left us a pattern to follow... "Oh God, you are my God, and I will ever praise You! I will meet You in the morning, and I will learn to walk in Your ways, and step by step You'll lead me and I will follow You all of my days."
Words cannot express the heartfelt sympathy my family extends to the family of Rich Mullins. His words and songs touched the lives of so many people, each in a different way. Rich had so much to say and is truly gone too soon. He will be missed by all of us who loved him and appreciated his many talents. Our only comfort and joy is knowing that Rich is where he longed to be, with his Father.
Jim and Sharon Aldrich
The news of Rich Mullins' death made my morning a little more somber experience. I was instantly reminded of the brevity of life on this Earth in addition to being greatly saddened.
Mullins' songs had challenged and encouraged me greatly over the years. He reminded me to "live right," that there was "bound to come some trouble," but our "awesome God" was there to hold me in His love.
When reflecting further on his death I realized that my grief about his passing was more selfish than honest morning in a fallen world that we see through a glass darkly. I thought MORE about what songs he would not get to write for me to enjoy. But, do I need someone else's words to help me sing my praise to the Lord, or remind me that I am not as strong as I think I am?
The answer is no and yes! Yes, there is nothing wrong with having the aid of others around us to make the load a little lighter. However, that assistance can become a hindrance when it becomes the primary way we get our strength. That was what had been happening to me.
So, "while the nations rage" around me. I can get "ready for storm" in my life by knowing where to stand: on His promise; or where to fall: on His grace.
My life has been made "richer" because of Mullins' music. But, I need to move past mourning for what I had lost and focus on the fact of rejoicing that he is in a better place where he can't keep himself from singing.
- William O'Flaherty
After returning from a weekend trip, I learned of the new of Rich's accident, and immediately broke down into tears. Rich's music was such an inspiration to me, and the words to his songs were had a true impact on me as I became a Christian. I saw Rich in concert many times, and was always truly touched by his message. he was a true disciple, I thank God for allowing Rich to spend his life with us, and for filling him with His love, that he may better sing his praises. i am sure that Rich is filled with joy as he sits in the arms of his Father, and it is that day when we all meet him again that we should look forward. I send my deepest condolences to Rich's family, and continue my prayers for Mitch and his family. Thank you God for such an incredible person!
God Bless all,
Barbara Campbell, 18
Miami University of Ohio
"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Cor. 13:12) "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope." (1 Thess. 4:13) Prayers also for the truck driver and Mitch.
I was driving into work this past Monday morning around 4am, listening to KLOVE radio (local christian station here), as I reached the peak over Highway 17, they mentioned of the accident and the going home of Rich Mullins. I pulled over listening to the report of what happened that last friday. I felt saddened yet joyful. Sad that a wonderful and compassionate person as Rich, his music a reflection of him and his faith, was gone from this earthly place , but joyous in knowing that he has now headed home to meet his/our Father. I feel that I have lost a dear friend, tho I have never met Rich and only seen him in Concert once, several years back in Florida.
We will miss you Rich, and to your family, my sympathy during this time. My prayers of a strength to you all.
We all live for the day that we will be called to go home, Rich has fulfilled his promise to this world and the destination that God has sent him to as been reached. To go out like Elijah.., what a way to be called. The music and inspiration of God's Love and Awesomeness of power. Rich wrote of this and is now a part of Heaven's choir.
God was good in giving him to us. God was good in leaving him here so long. God was good in taking him home. God is good and does all things well.
But I still cry. I still ache. I am grieving as one who has hope.
I long for Heaven and rejoice that Rich is now enjoying the wonder and beauty of God and His home.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation!!
My family, my church and myself will surely miss the music of Rich Mullins. It wouldn't be uncommon for us to worship to Awesome God in church and than to joyfully sing Pictures in the Sky with my sons on the way home. Our only comfort will be in what he left us his music and his faith.
My prayers are with his family.
Rich you will be missed. I remember going to a concert in Seattle on Mother's day and you told everyone they didn't need to pay. You asked in return for us to use the money to honor our mother. I was so moved by your selflessness. It was, and will be, a witness to me. Rich, I shall miss your down to earth style. You did concerts and you worshipped the one true God.
I want to share with you an amazing gift that Rich has given to my family just a few days before Christmas 1996. I was picking up a few last minute gifts for my family. And I was standing in a music store in Naples, Fl. wondering what I was going to buy when I unknowingly picked up a Rich Mullins cd. I have never bought a christian cd in my life and as I looked down and read who it was I admit that I hadn't a clue who Rich was. So the fact that I had a christian cd in my hand and the time of year that it was I decided that ok, maybe it's meant for me to buy this. So I purchased it and took it home for a present to my son. And when I showed it to my wife she said what's that for. I said I don't know but I think I was supposed to buy it. And I remember her saying why and I remember my reply was I don't know it was in my hand and besides maybe he will like it.
So Christmas day came and we opened presents and my son thanked us for all his gifts and then about mid-day he played the cd and loved it. Then mom borrowed it and played it till evening and we spent the rest of that day and weeks after letting Rich minister to us through his gift of music and lyrics. We started feeling the peace of the holy spirit and have returned to the church as committed Catholics and have regained our faith lost many years ago. I now own nine cds by Rich and for the first time have a personal relationship with my savior. I know now that God put Rich's music in my grasp and I absolutely love Rich for it.
We drove four hours in April to meet Rich in Kissimmee Fl. and listened to his music and ministry and was strengthened by it. I will forever cherish his autograph and his smile when I told him how much I appreciate him. He signed --be Gods-- and thanked me. We will miss Rich till we meet him again over the Jordan. We pray that you are comforted knowing that Rich is with our Father in Heaven and is still with us all.
God's Peace Be With You
I am not sure what to say except we are heart broken. Rich's music has ministered to us in immeasurable ways. When I was dating my husband I was a believer and he was not. In fact, he was a humanistic, agnostic, non practicing jew. No matter what I said or how many books I gave him, or churches I took him to...he remained unmoved. Then I gave him Rich's CD, Winds Of Heaven Stuff of Earth. The Lord used it to draw Joel to himself, and today he is a believer with a strong walk with the Lord. Rich remained our favorite recording artist, and we finally got to see him in concert this spring at Philadelphia Bible College. The concert was so moving that I wanted to write him a letter or e-mail him to tell him how much his music and his walk with the Lord has meant to us...I never did. After we heard about the accident I asked the Lord to please tell Rich for me. But maybe his family should know too. He was a fabulous and unique expression of the life of Christ. I will miss his voice until I hear it again in Heaven.
Christine and Joel Zucker
Thank you, Rich, for your beautiful, Christ-honoring life and ministry. Your music and poetic words have touched us deeply, stirred our souls, and have shown us the face of Christ more clearly than we could have seen it if you had never lived. I never knew you, but I'll miss you. You're cradled in the loving arms of the Savior and many souls will join you later because of the work you've done. Christian music now has a big Rich-shaped hole in it that no one will ever be able to fill. "...and if I weep, let it be as a man who is longing for his home..."
Tim and Julie Graf
My sympathies to Rich's family on their loss. He was a great guy. I had the pleasure of meeting Rich some sixteen years ago when he came to our church camp. Dressed in worn out jeans and white shirt and no shoes seemed his trademark. He always had a fun way about himself. For the next few years he continued to come back for our week of camp. We knew then before his selling any songs he was going somewhere. He would give us mini concerts that I can still remember as special times. Not because of just his songs, but how he opened himself up and talk about what was important. To praise God with your whole self and that when its all over taking the ultimate journey and hearing God say well done my faithful servant. Then 1985 came along with recording contracts and tours and everyone else found out what we knew. WE didn't get to see him much except for concerts which we got to talk to him and see the same guy he had always been. I feel so blessed to have known Rich and can't wait to praise God with him again.
Bruce and Sue King
There is nothing that I can say that hasn't already been said about the untimely death of Rich Mullins. But I must admit that I feel deeply compelled to express my heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends. I am also well aware of the prayers required for Mitch and his family--I hope he will be restored to his full capabilities soon! But in the midst of the hollowness and sadness that I feel, I must say "To God Be the Glory!" for without Him, Rich never would have touched us so deeply. Rich, you are now truly in the presence of our "Awesome God"--right where you've wanted to be for so long. You will always stand, in my mind, right up there with the talents and faithfulness of Keith Green. I love you very much--Thank you for witnessing in such a personal way to me!
Rich Mullins came to Greenville, South Carolina in October of 1995. He would begin the Brothers Keeper tour in a couple of days. He had graciously agreed to come to our store and visit with our customers and all those that loved his songs. Rich took complete control of the in-store visit and when he finished, about four hours later, he told us that he hoped that we didn't mind just letting him do what he felt like doing. We all laughed and agreed that we would have had it no other way. We told Rich that of all the artist that had visited our store that he managed to create memories for everyone that attended that night. We were sure that all were there would never forget. Rich smiled and told us that was exactly what he wanted.
Thank you Rich for reminding us that we have an "awesome GOD."
"you have been King of my glory, won't you be my Prince of Peace."
We will look forward to seeing him again and our hearts are with everyone close to Rich in the days ahead.
Charles and Susan Richardson
I have met Rich and spoken with him 4 times in the past 6 years. Three times after concerts, and one time a year ago. As my boyfriend (now my husband) and I were walking through the St. Louis airport I spotted him sitting, waiting to board a plane with Mitch and their instruments. We went up and introduced ourselves and I told him how very much his music and ministry had impacted my life and my 2 children's lives.
When I went through a painful divorce 3 years ago, Hold Me Jesus was one of my theme songs. One of the first songs my 9 year old daughter learned when she was three was "My One Thing", I taught her how to point up to the sky at the Lord with her index finger as she sang, just like Rich did in the first concert I saw him in 1991. And my son, who is now 5, has always enjoyed singing "The Step Song". We would sing it every Sunday as our little family of three traveled to church.
This past July, my husband and I took our two oldest children to hear Rich and Mitch in our hometown, Kansas City. He remembered meeting us in the airport! And gave our children his signature "Be God's" autograph. What a special memory for them and us. I have shed a lot of tears this week. The hurt and sadness has lightened as I have read through these notes the past 4 days. I've enjoyed checking it often, and now it has been instrumental in my healing process. Reading how other people loved Rich has been so cathartic. It is like hearing and being a part of a eulogy. May God bless you and all his family and close friends who will feel this loss for a long time.
I just wanted to take the time to send you my condolences for your tragic loss. Rich was truly a wonderful musician and he had a tremendous heart for God. I can remember singing "Awesome God" when I was in youth choir. His ministry was a light to many people (including myself) and even though I never had the opportunity to meet him in person, I know that I will still miss him very much.
But we will see him again....
Rich has been such a part of my life via his music for so many years.
I remember...driving through Kansas on the way to a college friend's wedding and practically screaming "Step by Step" as Rich's voice reverberated as loudly as my car stereo would allow. I remember...doing youth work and feeling that "What Susan Said" was said just to me.
I remember...hearing "The River" while driving to Wichita to see family and thinking that I'd love to be the she who'd borrow Beaker's bike.
I remember...using "Boy Like Me/Man Like You" as an introduction to teaching a compare/contrast essay to my seventh-grade English students.
I remember...crying and driving as I heard "Growing Young" and thinking it was what I wanted my brother to say.
I remember...writing out the words to "Growing Young" in big print so that my brother, who had asked for a copy, could read them in spite of his eyesight that was failing due to the complications of AIDS.
I remember...holding onto his desire to have a copy of the song as a small bit of hope after he died that I will see him again in heaven. I pray that Bruce is hearing Rich sing right now.
Thank you, Lord, for Rich and his music's ministry. Thank you for sharing him with us so that he could share You with all of us.
When i heard the news last sunday morning my heart dropped. i never got to meet Rich personally, but i felt like he was my best friend. his music spoke the words my heart could never seem to say about a God whom i love so much. Rich Mullins played a concert on what would be the first night in my journey to finding faith in Jesus Christ. I was invited to a church lock-in my sophomore year in high-school. I wasn't a Christian nor did i think i even wanted to be, but all i knew was there was this guy named Rich who we were going to see play. It was a small concert, but it was crowded enough to where the only seat i could find was on the corner of the stage, two feet from Rich. i didn't know who he was at the time except for the fact that he was singing about an "Awesome God." two weeks later i would trust in Jesus as my savior. eight years later now, and the music that was so foreign to me then, has now become my hearts' cry. and in my eight years of faith i've grown enough to know that Rich is in the best hands that a child of God can be in. Truly Rich's life was indeed Christ and now is gain.
Has anyone found the words yet that can make the loss seem smaller? I miss you terribly, Rich. And what scares me is all the days I have yet to face without your words to help me through. All those beautiful words that were yet to be. I loved you Rich and I loved the Lord in you.
I found out about Rich's death Monday morning on my way to work, and it's taken me several days to digest this news; it's been tough going and I've had several sleepless nights. Tears are flowing as I write.
The first concert of Rich's I went to, I went because a guy from my singles group was going, not because I knew who Rich was. I remember seeing Rich outside the church with Beaker and I thought they were youth group kids. I was very surprised when I saw Rich enter the sanctuary with a Diet Coke and thought to myself, 'Didn't his mother teach him not to bring food or drink into the sanctuary?' When he kept on walking to the stage and the youth minister announced him, I pretty much went, 'Oh! Well, I guess he needs his Diet Coke!' I was so struck by his honesty and boldness, his dulcimers, and by his fresh and slightly tilted look at the world and our God. I went to that concert to get to know someone I had a crush on better.... I came away knowing God better.
I can't really put into words all that Rich and his music meant to me. The lyrics, his humor and insight have inspired me to be more like Jesus, to pursue Him and a holier life. His words have comforted me in times of sadness and despair. I especially liked the time when things seemed like they couldn't get any worse and I turned on the radio to hear, '.... Things may look bad, and things may look grim, but all these things must pass...', which left me laughing at God's perfect timing,. All these temporal things don't matter, God does.
In 1995, an event happened concerning my health that left me absolutely terrified. I remember sitting in my car, listening to Wayne Watson sing 'It is Well With My Soul', and I told God it wasn't well with my soul, that I didn't know how to deal with this situation and asked Him to show me; I popped out a tape because I sing along. A scripture verse was on the radio -- Rejoice always, pray without ceasing -- how's that for a quick answer to prayer? I went through several doctors, a move to Arkansas to work for a Baptist ministry. I came back to Houston to see the doctor and because friends had given me tickets to see Rich that night. The day was good in that I didn't have to have surgery and I got to see Rich, but I was left with many unanswered questions and was so emotionally wrung out I almost didn't go. My friends talked me into it, and I'm so glad I did, even though I cried through most of the concert, I was so touched. And then, at the end, when Rich had us sing 'It is Well,' I was able to say, 'Yes, Lord, all is well. Despite pain and confusion and real need for an answers, all is well. And thank you for Rich.' I went home and wrote Rich a letter about it, telling him everything I just described, and thanking him for being in Houston on that particular night. And he wrote me back! and asked about my health and said it was a joy to him to have been a part of my rejoicing in our God. I was blissed out for days.
I still am in shock at his death. Even though I never really thought I'd hear of his passing when I was a little old lady (making him a much older little old man) I just didn't think it would be so soon. For his family and friends, I have been in almost continuous prayer.
I kinda think that Rich is telling the angels, "OK, we'll do that again. This time, basses, baritones, sing out more, 'K?" That and my dad has pulled him aside to tell him that I made Dad listen to him over and over and .....
Peace, my Brothers and Sisters,
Hold us, Jesus. Be our Prince of Peace while we are missing Rich.
Rich was truly one of a kind...he was a rebel yes, but I believe he was that to make us see Christ easier...when we think of Rich we think of those things that are very "scriptural" we think of Elijah, we think of "fighting Christ for something we don't really want than to take what He gives us for free"...we hear Christ speaking to us through Rich's music. I am a secretary at a Christian school, I spent a couple of minutes with a few of our older children talking about how sad we are about his passing but how he has given us a legacy...one we all know and sing...Our God Is An Awesome God they know this song and sing often, and through this legacy he has passed on his mission...Go and tell the World..."Our God Is An Awesome God." Rich would not want us to be sad...he would want us all to "be God's." God is with Rich's family,and as they reach out to Him may they find the peace that passes understanding.
When I found out about Rich during my lunch break on Monday, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I thought to myself, "anyone but Rich." I attending a concert he gave here in Jacksonville, FL, and he forever touched my life. It was one of the few Christian concerts that my husband has attended with me, and Rich's music meant a lot to him too. At that moment, all I could think of was his Elijah song, and I pictured him in the arms of Jesus when he went home to be with God. It makes me happy and sad at the same time, for I know he is eternally happy, but I will miss him, until I can hear him sing once again in Heaven. Please tell his family I am thinking of them.
Thank you and God bless.
I am stunned in a way that I thought impossible. But, God's Grace is REAL. And it is evident this night. God Bless You, Rich......Rock on, praise on and I'll see you on the other side of Jordan. God is alive and so is Rich in a way more mysterious than we could ever explain with these fleshly tongues!!!!!!! And, oh for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise!!!!!!!
Richard Wayne Hall
Rich's music has deeply touched my life along with the thousands of others. When I heard the sad news for we left behind I was shocked. I was in church at the time during our worship service. After the news sunk in I remember thinking "Rich is really seeing
what an Awesome God, God truly is right now". Our prayers our with you. God Bless and comfort you as only He can do.
-- Jennifer Corbin
I am so glad our youth had the opportunity to experience Rich in concert at CIY this past summer. His God given talent was evident in his songs and his personality shone on stage. Truly many were pointed to God through his life and ministry.
My heart goes out to your family in this time of loss. I cannot tell you how many times Rich's music comforted me, challenged me and helped me to grow. Each time I attended a concert (four) God found a new song to touch me in a new way. Just last week I was depending on the song "Hold Me Jesus" to cope with the loss of my grandfather. Today Rich is where Jesus can hold him, and he can give even greater glory to the Lord he loved so much. My prayers are with you.
It was truly a tragedy to hear of loss of Mich. His songs were such a blessing and will continue to so. During this hard time, I pray that God will bless and comfort the family. As much as we needed him here, GOD must have needed him up THERE more. His fellowship and music will live on.
This is actually from my daughter Libby Wolfe who is 9 and misses Rich.
Rich has inspired me through Jesus. I only went to one of his concerts, but that's enough to miss him. I went up to Rich and asked him for his autograph . He wrote Libbybegods. It was one word. I miss Rich a lot, but as my mom said "Libby don't cry he is glad to be in heaven". The first song I learned to sing was "My One Thing" when I was little. I also really like "Step By Step" and "Boy Like Me" We have every one of his albums except the first one. I have a cd player in my room, I listen to his music sometimes. When ever I think about him I really miss him. Rich has helped me believe in Jesus more and become a better christian.
I cannot shake the strange effect Rich's death has had on me. I never even got to see him perform, but from the first moment someone played me pieces of "A Liturgy...," I was hooked. Few Christian artists (whether authors or musicians) have managed to tell Christ's message in such a gritty, real way. Rich's poetry (as opposed to simply lyrics) didn't pull any punches. Life is hard. We are homesick. But somehow, he always managed to show us that everything is under control, and beautiful in its own way. As an aspiring writer, I cling to Rich's words and life as I search for ways to share God's truths. Few people have ever done it as well as he did, and he continues to inspire me. I've learned something of deep value to me as I've read the recent articles about Rich's life: He was in every way a servant. He was not seeking glory for anyone but God. I believe we've discovered the secret of his success. I hope I can take this lesson to heart! We'll miss Rich down here, but I can't wait to meet him and thank him later on.
Graduate Student, Abilene Christian University
To Rich's family,
I only got to meet Rich once, but his lyrics brought me into God's presence often. He was much MORE than a musician or a star - he honestly showed his thirst for God and he made me thirsty. Jesus is coming soon and I think God wanted Rich to come help King David and Keith Green write some incredible music - without any distractions. It won't be long before we see him again.
The week of Rich's death I listened to "Songs" over and over and I thought of him frequently. Both are unusual because I have lots of CD's to choose from, a very busy life, many concerns right now, and I didn't know him.
But whenever I thought about Rich that week, I felt impressed with loneliness, yet a great richness with Christ. (You named him well.) I wondered at the time why I would be thinking so much about someone I didn't know, and - did Rich actually feel lonely?
Then when my daughter told me the news, I was heartbroken and crumbled. Many tears. I am so very sorry for the grief and loss in your family. If my adult son could ever be half the man Rich was, I would be thankful beyond any words.
I am looking forward to meeting you sometime after the trumpet blows.
Awesome God was the first contemporary Christian song that my wife and I shared together. It came at a time when we were separating, heading towards a divorce. It meant so much to us then and even more now. We have all of Rich's tapes and his songs minister to us often. We had the blessing of meeting Rich on several occasions and his simple devotion encouraged us to serve our Lord at a deeper level than we thought possible. He will be missed here on earth, but we are looking forward to seeing him in Heaven one day soon.
I took my 11 year-old niece to Rich's concert in Lafayette, IN , in June. I knew it would be a clean concert and that she would enjoy it. I wanted so badly to stay after to talk to Rich, but she was tired and I had a 45 minute drive home. I also wanted to ask Mrs. Mullins what she had done to raise such a Godly man. I have a young son and daughter and need all the help I can get. I wish I had stayed now.... I am so saddened by your loss. I am teaching my children to dance to the joy in Rich's music. As soon as I heard the news of Rich's death, in my mind's eye, I could see an angel scooping him up from this world and flying off with him to heaven to suffer no more. He is singing in the heavenly choir. Here on earth, he can live on in the smile on my daughter's face when she twirls around the room.
His music deepened my faith in Jesus Christ beyond words. I met him on his 40th birthday following his concert in Chicago. I will never forget his warmth and kindness. The love of Christ exuded from his words and songs. It is a comfort knowing he is at home in heaven. I'll bet he's smiling right now...
i just wanted to say that my life was touched by Rich and his music. He was a friend, though i never personally met him. His music reflected a heart of love and devotion to our God. He was blessed to be able to put words on the deepest heart groanings for many people. He was such a blessing to us all...now he gets to bless the Lord, in person.
I was shocked and saddened to hear of your son's death. Rich Mullins was one of the five acts that really got me into listening to contemporary Christian music, in turn, helping bring a new richness to my life and relationship to God. Creed, Damascus Road, and of course, Our God is an Awesome God, have to be three of my favorite songs of all times.
It makes me sad that I will never get to see him in concert as I hoped to. But I just want to let you know mine is one more life he touched. I will never get to see him on this side, but glory to God I'll meet him in heaven on day. I'm looking forward to it.
rich's and mitch's family...you're in my thoughts and prayers everyday. i miss you. i love you. rich...i know you will be always looking down on him.
Dear Mrs. Mullins,
I just want to let you know the impact of your son's life of faith on me. I met him sometime shortly after his first album "a few good men" was released. I am a drummer and a friend of mine at Blanton and Harrell called him one day to tell him that she knew of a drummer who was interested in playing in Christian music. She left a voice mail on his recording machine. It just so happened that Rich was on his way home (this is when he lived near Ashland City TN) and had just been praying for a drummer for his next concert. He arrived home and heard the answering machine message and called me on the spot. He told me that God had answered his prayer and he wanted me to play for him in two weeks. He had never heard me play. Quite honestly, it was my lifelong prayer that was answered in that moment. I was dumbfounded. His act of faith answered my prayer.
I played a number of concerts with him and got to know him rather well. I found him to be one of the most honest people I have ever known. He did not try to hide behind his celebrity and there were no pretenses about him. His faith was contagious and disquieting at the same time. Like King David, I think he was a man after God's own heart. Take heart that your son was not only gifted as a writer and as a musician, but that those who you will likely never meet were deeply touched by knowing him. I always thought I would call him someday just to say thanks for acting out of faith the day he hired me. I wish I could now.
The audience went silent as the lights faded to a slight dim. One person in the 15th row remained. He spoke no words, just sitting in silence. A small tear of grief, but also joy, runs down his face. He has experienced great loss, but no longer does someone so great have to see a world so full of hurt. Rich.......one song comes to mind now....one I know Ray Boltz and many others sang....you portrayed the song immensely...so I say this.... "Thank you, for giving to the Lord".
~To the world, you are somebody, To somebody, you are the world~
Peace and thanksgiving,
When I heard of the death of Rich Mullins, I could just imagine that if heaven has a red carpet welcome for certain souls, it was definitely rolled out for him. However, I am so sad for those of us left on earth without new music from Rich Mullins. Through his beautiful lyrics, I could express my own love of God. I consider Rich the finest Christian music artist we've ever known. He will truly be missed. God bless his family.
....i just saw rich a month ago in milwaukee for the first time. in 1989, as a graduating high school senior, i received a CD player for a gift... and with some of the money i had gotten, i went and purchased my first Christian CD's...[i was just beginning to investigate Jesus at the time..] Sandi Patty... Michael W. Smith... and a wildcard that looked cool with a dog on the cover...Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth..... suffice to say that sandi and michael took a longtime backseat to some of the most compelling lyrics i had ever heard. every line a message to the soul, Scripture unpacked, paradoxes examined.. that CD was the first to teach me that Christians love Jesus, and they think, too.. ....
if i sing, let me sing for the joy that has born in me these songs, and if i weep, let it be as a man who is longing for his home..
welcome Home, kindred brother in the faith.. i can't wait to greet you in glory, and to thank you for fueling my passion for Christ.
I thank God for Rich Mullins and the incredible music that has ministered so deeply to me over the years. When I get to heaven one of the first things I want to do is go to a Rich Mullins concert!!
"Hold me Jesus....I'm shaking like a leaf."
Those words speak out to me today. I hope that the peace of the Lord is with the Mullin family and that the love and grace that their son spoke of, is surrounding them now. I have written before but, still feel that not enough could be said for the life and ministry of Rich. From "Awesome God" to "Brothers Keeper", Rich Mullins touched my life with lyrics and harmonies that I was needing at that moment. As one of the few "Christian artists" that had not sold out, I respected his integrity and caused me to enjoy his music that much more.
I remember only a bit of another song."there is a thing called grace." I believe that with all my heart. With God's infinite grace, he granted each of us that are writing here at this moment, the opportunity to benefit from the music of Rich Mullins. In his grace I believe that God has given this opportunity, in the last month, with the loss of several noted persons of our day, to focus back on him, and to remind us of the hope that lies within us, in the bodily resurrection, and an eternity in praise and worship of an Awesome God. I feel in his grace, he granted Rich his dream of crossing over in eternal praise of our Father. Let's not let Rich down, and take this time to focus back on God, like Rich would have wanted us to.
My condolences. His life and music have been an inspiration and will be greatly missed.
I thank the Lord for Rich Mullins and his music. His family and friends are in my prayers. I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, and yet I cling to the hope of God's promises. It won't be long, and we will all be together again! Praise the Lord!!!
A Poem For Rich
For Many roads we traveled on, you knew which way was right,
For Many dark days that we lived in, you shone the light,
Giving glory to his name, and praising him the day through,
There was never a time of doubt when I was listening to you.
If anything good came of this, I hope that it could be,
People are saved from the grief we share, and the love that they could see,
My Christian family, grieves and mourn, but I have to say thank you.
For there was never a time of doubt, when I was listening to you.
Talents move on, and names fade through years,
But this talent was the talent that was given you will last through the tears.
Grief is good, it washes and cleanses the soul,
Listening to your music, it helped me feel whole.
I'm sorry I never had the chance to thank you in person,
But I know that someday I will dance with you, with God's holy One.
Until that wonderful day, when I'm finding it hard to make it through,
I will listen to your song, cuz there's never a time of doubt when I'm listening to you.
In Loving memory of Rich Mullins. Thank you Rich, and God bless you.
I met Rich when He did my youth retreat in Atlanta. I had the joy of talking with him for almost three hours. In that small amount of time I learned of the humble heart that was before me. I knew right then and there that his life is, and had been fully devoted to the Lord. Ever since those days I have enjoyed his works, and found them to be of great inspiration and motivation in my life. I am so happy that in this day Rich is with the one he most longed to be with. To his family I just want to remind them that in Rich's life, Death is merely the extinguishing of a candle because the sun has come.
We have truly lost a wonderful brother. God must have wanted some new music in heaven because Rich could certainly give it. I'm very thankful that Rich gave to all of us everything that God had given him. I'm grateful that God gave us Rich for this short time. We'll meet again, I know, and all Sing Our Praise to the Lord. My deepest sympathy and prayers for his family.
Ouch!!! What a loss this world has suffered and what a prize heaven has gained/reclaimed. We will definitely miss you, Rich. I can just see him barefoot, singing "Our God is An Awesome God" with the angles. I'm jealous!!!! Your music will continue to touch millions.
My fondest Rich Mullins memory is listening to the beginnings of a concert blown by the wind while cooking pancakes at Jesus Northwest, wishing that they didn't take so long to cook and that i hadn't over slept. And then after joining the small crowd (poor people didn't know what they were missing!!!) in awe of a truly talented man. What a concert of praise. I also remember seeing him for the last time on "official tour" and thinking what a great and truly selfless man to leave music to reach the Navaho people. I remember waling away from the concert feeling closer to God.
To Rich's family - i'm praying for you in your time of loss...
God be with you.....
I told Rich once that I wanted to be his friend. I was hoping that he might have said, "My friend, your friend I am." We had never before met, and he had no words for that awkward introduction. Instead he just looked blankly at me like I was the weirdest person in the world. Probably so, nevertheless, I simply wanted to describe for Rich how God honored me with the lyrics and melodies of a common Hoosier brother. Yet my weirdness prevailed that meeting.
When someone like Rich, brings healing so wonderfully and so deeply to a tormented psyche, all that can be offered is the very most anyone really ever has: the gift of self. Rich seemed to have done that for all who would listen, I had one chance to give myself to him, weirdness and all, and I gave.
I like to think that perhaps he told a few stories about this curious fella who wanted to be his friend. I know I have told a few too.
We have lost one of the world's great poets. It's hard to believe. I will miss him and his gifts. How many people do you know that could play hammered dulcimer? Jesus, please comfort Rich's and Mitch's family and friends, and bring healing to Mitch. And thank you so much for allowing Rich to minister here as long as he did, and for giving him the songs that touched us all.
I have listened to Christian music most all my life, my husband and I have over 500 cds and Rich was one of our favorites; why? because you could really see he was in love with Jesus. We have attended many concerts of various Christian artist, and I must say some of them you just don't see or feel Jesus through them.
I believe sometimes there is such a longing within a person to be with their Savior, and to want more and more of a relationship with Him, that the only way to fulfill that is to be with Him. I compare this with Keith Green's love for the Lord and his death at such a young age. Rich is experiencing joy beyond measure, and I need to concentrate on his joy instead of our loss. His music was more than music it was a light showing the way, a hug of comfort in the time of grief, a celebration of joy with our Father, but above all an true example of Christ.
To God: Thank you for blessing us with such a servant, and I know you will take care of him until we meet again.
To the Mullins: A part of your pain is felt by millions, and may you take comfort in knowing that your son lived is life as an example of God's Son and touched many many lives. I hurt with you and love you as I loved your son. My family is praying for your family and thank you so much for the love you have shown to your son for he was able to share that love through out the world. His music will continue to bless many. God bless and be with you all.
We are all saddened by the tragic news of Rich's death...but as our children sing Rich's songs, that they have memorized, as they play around the house, we pray that we may leave such a spiritual legacy -if we could only keep these thoughts forward in our minds for years to come...
God, may we live with the priorities of life that Rich had...may we remember that we are not of this world, and strive to let others know that also...
God bless you and your family, and thank you for the upbringing and heritage that you gave to Rich...we can't wait to see him again in Heaven and sing to God what an Awesome God he is!!!
Thank you to the Mullins family, for sharing your son and brother with the entire Christian community through his music and lyrics. I am saddened in a selfish way that I had never been to one of his concerts, but his music will live on forever through the recordings of it. He left a legacy that you can truly be proud of, but give God the glory for it, as Rich would have you to do. Our Lord is an "Awesome God" and I thank Him for the special people, like Rich, that He uses as vessels to uplift, encourage, and inspire all of us. May He also bless Mitch and his family in the situation they are experiencing, that a healing will take place, and more lives can be positively influenced through Mitch's ministry.
And as Rich would say on his autographs....."BE GOD'S!!!!!"
Even though I didn't know this man, my heart goes out to those close to him. Yes, he's in a better place and we all could take some lessons from a very caring man. God Bless All!
I found out Sunday night when I got home from a trip I was on and heard the devastating news. I know some people who knew him personally from my church so it affects me more than normal. He was a great and always will be for that matter a great Christian Artist. With songs Awesome God, Step by Step and Sing Your Praise to the Lord those really were my favorites and I am sure a lot of others. And to this day I still listen to those songs and always will. I am glad that he won't have to be sick or in pain anymore. I guess what I am trying to say is that I know he is up in Heaven and is watching over everyone down here. I am remembering a part of a Mariah Carey and Boyz To Men song "One Sweet Day". It goes like this.
And I know your shining down from Heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
One Sweet Day
Rich until then we love you and can't wait to see you in Heaven.
And to the Family of Rich----My prayers are with you always!!! Just know that your son/brother was a huge influence on everyone who would hear his music.
Love a fan of yours,
I am devastated. I found the Lord at age 31 after many, many years of "notorious living". Rich's music was the first contemporary Christian music I listened to. I played "The world as I remember It", vol. 2, over and over again. "Growing Young" seemed to describe my life experience to a "T".
What endeared me to Rich was the way he communicated his struggle with his humanity (and that of this world) in his music. To me, that was the ultimate expression of his humility...his acknowledgement through his lyrics that he was a sinning human being...in need of a Savior. Often scared, at times hurting, angry at some of the things he witnessed in this world, but NEVER without hope! I will never forget him.
Grand Rapids, MI
Hello old friends,
We just wanted to share our condolences with Rich's family and friends. I just visited the home page, and can easily echo what many others have said about how God has used Rich's songs--so many of them!!--to touch my spirit very deeply. We will miss him dearly, and look forward to meeting him again on the other side of the Jordan. I only praise God that "though there's nothing new to say, the old old story bears repeating and the plain old truth grows dearer every day." That's what's amazing about this music...each song can be used by God to touch me in a new way that I haven't been touched before. A phrase that didn't mean anything a year ago suddenly hits me right where I need to be hit and becomes dear...like a message from the mouth of God. So, I will miss hearing any new revelations from Rich, but trust that the wealth of music he has left us will continue to be used by God in my life.
Thanks, Rich. We will miss you...I'm sure you have plenty of "wonders" to sing about now!!
Dan and Stacey Dyer,
Colorado Springs, CO
Being new to modern Christian music, I just discovered Rich when he played at St Matthew's in Belleville, Illinois this summer. What a gift he was, but why so brief? The Lord works in mysterious ways.
My wife and I were saddened to hear of Rich's death, but encouraged to know that he is rejoicing in Heaven. His music ministers to my soul!
steven and leanne presley,
Hello, My name is Tod Rye and I am a 20 year old college student from Russellville, AR. I'm also a radio personality on the christian station here in my home town. I would like to express to you my sincere condolences on the recent loss of Mr. Mullins. He has impacted my life greatly with his music, his ministry and his humbleness. The first Christian album I ever bought was The World as Best As I can Remember It Volume II. I heard the song step by step which led me to get the album. Other songs made me love the music he brought forth, and the love and emotion he put into his music shows people like myself and others what being a minister of the gospel is all about. My station is doing a Tribute to Rich for all he has done with Christian Music and the Indian Reconciliation. I believe he was planning on coming to Russellville to do a benefit concert for Wayne Drain for the help he gave for Indian Reconciliation. I was going to be in Charge of Promoting the concert. I pray that God will fill the void left behind with His love. I know He will because He is Faithful and Just to Us His children. Have a great day and know that Rich Mullins was a positive influence on my life.
Tod A. Rye
Just to let know Rich's relatives that his music to God, helped tons of people to focus in God and our brothers and sisters. His music trespassed the border, his life, right now, trespassed the world.
I had the honor of knowing Rich, as he was my church youth director in the 1970's. Please extend my condolences to his mother, who I met briefly one cold winter's day. She will not remember me, I am sure, but her gentle spirit made an impact on my life forever. Rich was a very special person to me. I last saw him two years ago in Atlanta and he looked so happy. I know his life dream was to teach and am glad that he was able to fulfill his dreams. May God richly bless his family in this tragic time.
Debbie Washburn Stively
Although I never met Rich, I felt that I knew him. His song Awesome God was the first Christian song I ever heard as I was just starting my walk as a Christian. I feel that he and his music have been a companion, an inspiration as I journey closer to the Lord. I was fortunate enough to see Rich in concert a few years ago in Gainesville, FL. The church was packed!!! The thing that amazed me the most, was at the end of the concert, Rich taught us all Step by Step and we ended the concert all singing it together. Instead of staying and waiting for applause, Rich left the stage and we finished by worshipping our God. His humility, joy, talent, and most of all his openness to share his relationship with God will be truly missed. Rich, our loss is heaven's gain. We will miss you. I pray that your music and your Legacy will live on and continue to touch the hearts of many people who need to hear the Lord's voice. We'll see you in heaven one day!
In Jesus' Love,
Rich Mullins was maybe the best songwriter of our time. He was truly a man of God.
The treasure of Rich's music has had a lasting impact on my life as well as the lives of many, many other people.
There are many good songwriters in Christian music. But while many of them can turn life experiences into song, there are few who can relate scripture to modern life experience the way Rich could. Really the only other songwriter I would put in such a high category is Michael Card. It's interesting to note that both of these songwriters got their start with songs on the same Amy Grant album (Age to Age). Rich with "Sing Your Praise" and Michael with "El Shaddai."
I live in Houston Texas and we are blessed to have one of the best contemporary Christian stations in the country, KSBJ. I heard the news last Saturday while driving home from a barbecue. When the DJ came on and spoke the words "we are saddened today by the news of the loss of one of the great elder statesmen of the Christian Music industry..." my heart froze, but I really wasn't prepared for it to be Rich Mullins.
To the family of Rich Mullins:
As much as Rich's death grieves my heart, I can only imagine the grief you are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. Rich meant a lot to me and countless other fans. I have listened to, and will continue to listen to his music almost daily. I am in the choir at my church as well as leading Wednesday night 2-5 year old childrens music on Wednesday nights. Hardly a Sunday passes when we don't sing one of Rich's songs during our service, usually "Awesome God" or "Step by Step". And during Children's church on Wednesdays, their favorite song is "Our God is an Awesome God." In fact, I usually have a hard time getting them stop singing it when we are done so we can do the next song.
If pressed to settle on a personal favorite song of Rich's it would probably be "First Family" which unfortunately received little airplay, but is a glowing indication of the impact that you have had on shaping his character and I bless you and thank you for that.
Again, my prayers are with you and thank you for giving Rich as your gift to the world.
I am truly sorry for your loss. Rich was one of the few Christian musicians I truly admired. His integrity was evident and rare.
One of my favorite albums is "A Liturgy, A Lesson, and a Ragamuffin Band". Every song speaks to me and causes me to think on my spiritual life and my relationship with God.
God will bless you for raising such a fine Christian young man. You and your family will be in my prayers.
Rich Mullins was truly a humble servant of God. Heaven is rejoicing right now because one of God's children has come home to be with our father in heaven. His music was only one of a few that I felt was truly straight from the heart and breathed on by God, because it touched us so deeply and helped to praise our Father in heaven. Our prayers will always be with Rich's family and for Mitch's full recovery.
Dear God, I pray that you will comfort the family of Rich Mullins in their time of loss, and I pray that you will heal Mitch's wounds and his heart right now. And Lord, tell Rich how much he meant to us and what a great example he was for us. Praise be to God for His sovereignty -- that "He sits on His throne and does as He pleases."
Rich, I admire your integrity and depth of insight, but most of all how you were willing to let us see through you so we could catch a better view of God. I love your music and all of the creative ways you found to profess Jesus Christ as Lord! He was indeed faithful to complete a good work in you. Thank you for your joyful legacy, my friend. I can't wait until we can dance with you and all the prophets and saints at Jesus' feet. Until then, cheer us on!
Lord, please tell Rich we miss him...
I haven't listened to his music for very long - a little over a year. My brother-in-law saw Rich in concert 2 years ago and loved him. I introduced me to his music. It has been a daily inspiration as I took long walks alone, drove my 35 mile commute to school where I teach or just need to feel uplifted during personal trials and bouts with depression. As an adopted Native American (Klamath Tribe, Oregon), I was impressed to hear about his work there. I am saddened to hear of his passing and send my condolences to his family and prayers to his friend's family. He was a wonderful person who's music will live in my heart, and play in my soul for years to come.
Rich Mullins was one of the greatest performers I have ever had opportunity to see. I loved his music, and his heart of God. He is missed greatly by my family. Our prayers are with his family. We know he is with the Father even now as I type this.
I guess God liked Rich's work as much as we did, and so he gained the great reward. It's sad for us, but wonderful to know his work continues in heaven. We will miss is talents very much
I first fell in love with Rich Mullins while I was on a mission trip to Russia. I was on a never-ending train ride across Siberia (homesick) and was listening to "Here in America." Thinking about how wonderful it is that no matter where I am, there God is! "Step by Step" was my anthem as I made the decision to go on staff full-time with a mission organization to work with children in Russia, Africa, South America and India. I take Rich's music with me wherever I go. He gave me such a bigger picture of who God is. I will deeply miss him and how he would humbly yet powerfully sing of God's greatness.
Thank you, Mrs. Mullins, for giving his faith roots and wings.
Through his music and character sketches provided by his friends and loved ones, it is obvious that Rich was a fine example of Paul's claim in Philippians 1:21--
"For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
This is the man who has written such great songs as If I Stand, All The Way My Savior Leads Me, and Step by Step. That they all have somehow touched and worked in my life so much that I can never find the words to thank him for what he has done in my life. In closing, I just want to thank Rich Mullins for being such a great example of faith and for showing me that sometimes you just got to set your selfishness aside and let God used us to do His Work on earth.
As much as I hate to see him go, I believe he would have us rejoice with him as now he can give praise straight to God in a way that we can't even imagine yet! He will be missed. His music was so real, nothing fake or flashy, just the message of the TRUTH. Nothing for his glory or fame or success, but only to share what God taught him. God bless Him
I could not deal with his death for many days. Our family was in denial and refused to play his music until this morning. As we listen and grieve openly,we read the e-mail of others who are grieving also. Rich helped to convert me to Christ and when I was baptized I took the name Elijah as he was my favorite pillar of strength. Now I am reminded of Elisha watching Elijah leave. He cried father,father and he tore his clothing in sheer brokenheartedness. I also remember Elisha then called "Where is the God of Elijah? Then the waters parted for him as it had for Elijah. To all of my christian friends and brothers regardless of denomination, may the waters still part for you in the name of the God of Rich Mullins.
I cried and I mourned and I found peace knowing that Rich was with our Lord. Our local Christian radio station played a Rich Mullins song every hour for several days as a tribute to a terrific disciple of the Lords. Every time I heard the words "I want to go out like Elijah," I thought to myself, "I'm sure you did."
Rich touched a lot of lives with his gift of song, he will be greatly missed. I look forward to hear him sing again that new song in heaven.
God bless you and his family, may you all find comfort in the shelter of his wings. amen
a sister in Christ
I saw Rich in concert 9 or 10 times, and spoke with him many times. I drove to Wichita in Dec. '92 to see him; my wife-to-be could not go, and after the concert Rich spoke with her on the phone for a few minutes. Since then, each time I would see him, he'd always say, "Where do I know you from?" and I'd remind him, and he would remember. For all the things that can be said about this man, the one thing that sums it up is to remember that when signing an autograph, he'd always put the person's name, followed by "be God's". Rich was, and now more than ever, is.
As I read this page, I am touched and warmed to find that I am not nearly alone in regarding Rich Mullins as one of my greatest influences and inspirations. Although he never knew me personally, I feel as though I knew him, since his music and lyrics cam e from the very depths of his heart and soul. I once heard him say on the radio that he thought his voice sounded funny, and I guess it wasn't the greatest voice in Christian music. But that didn't matter. His music came from his soul, and that's all I hear when I listen to him.
But there was so much more to him than just his music. I can sing his songs-I know all the words-but I don't back them up the way he did. He was one of those rare few-truly bright light in a dark world. The world didn't appreciate his music enough, but more importantly, it grossly undervalued the man. When I think of him and another religious figure who recently passed on, the main differences that I see are that Rich didn't live in one of the poorest countries in the world, Mother Teresa wasn't a recording artist, and Rich died way too soon.
Actually, I say that very selfishly. I'm trying my hardest as I work through this not to be angry at God for taking Rich. I believe that instead we should be thankful to God for sharing his servant with us as long as he did. We have all been so richly blessed by Rich having lived at all-and we will always have a part of him with us as long as we have his music. Thank you, Rich. And, more importantly, Thank you, God.
I was greatly sadden at Rich's death. I enjoyed his music very much.
I wanted to share with you a quote from a sermon Rich preached at a Youth convention I attended.
"There is only two ways a person dies. Either your spirit shrinks and shrinks until one day your body collapses around it. Or, your spirit grows and grows until it finally outgrows your body."
In my estimation, Rich's spirit outgrew his body.
I have waited to write because of the way I deal with sadness and pain. We all loved Rich and his music. While I did not know him personally, is music ministered to me in a way that is beyond description. I want to offer you my heartfelt condolences and comfort. I, too, have lost family members recently and am still dealing with their deaths, but I think what has helped me through all of this is to think that we will all see Rich and hear his music again. What a comfort that is!
There are no words that say enough. Even more than his music, the strength of Rich's spirit and faith flowed out over the spotlights to help each of us see ourselves in the family of God at every concert he performed. I first had this experience at a point in my life when it made all the difference. My prayers are with you and all those who love Rich.
I was returning from a trip to Baltimore with some friends on last Sunday night. We had not yet heard the tragic news. Along the drive, we all noticed how brilliant the starscape was! The following morning, i found out about the incident. One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was his song "Elijah." It finally dawned on me this afternoon that he said, "When I look back on these stars, It'll be like a candlelight in Central Park!" Could it be that God chose to honor the homegoing of a servant by making the stars as many canldelights in Central Park? Just a thought. My condolences to his family and close friends. In my brief conversation with him at Creation '96, he truly made an impact on my life. There will never be another Rich Mullins, but may we all strive to live with his passion for God!
In Him who gives life,
The greatest of the Great,
I was surprised at how much the death of Rich Mullins has affected me. I've been listening to his music and thinking about him everyday. My sorrow goes out to his family and close friends. I know that he is happy to be "home". I met Rich and Mitch in Gainesville, GA at an acoustic concert. My friends, my brother and I helped tear down the set. It was great to meet Rich and Mitch afterwards. He thanked us and told us a joke! I love his music and can't believe that we'll never hear any new Rich Mullins projects. We always looked forward to hearing his newest album. It always spoke to my soul.
Please accept my condolences as you struggle with this terrible loss and know that I am praying that the LORD will comfort you with the promise that you will one day see Rich again. I would also like to say that I am happy that Rich is now in Heaven, who better to sing for the LORD and be warmed by his light than Rich, one of the most outstanding Christian men of our time. God shared him with us for but a moment, and we now have something even more wonderful to look forward to knowing that he will be waiting with open arms when our Savior finally calls us.
I am praying for you daily and am willing to help with anything.
May Christ Comfort you,
C. Robert Hand
I am sorry about the recent passing of your family member, Rich. I write you to pay off my regards of my favorite Christian Singer, Rich Mullins. I loved his singing and I hope that I can help you in any way.
Since I heard of Rich's death last week, I feel a sadness that I would expect at the loss of a family member. I was introduced to Rich's music shortly after I became a Christian and his lyrics have so many times been a comfort and encouragement to me. From the first time I heard "If I Stand" it has been my absolute favorite song. So much of Rich's music made me think of God in a new way and made me see Him for the Beautiful Creator that He is. I thank God for Rich and I am truly saddened by his death. I know Rich is enjoying himself. I'll miss him. I have so many of his lyrics coursing through my head right now which reinforces that his music truly speaks with Gods comfort. "Can I be with you? I want to be with you." - WELCOME HOME RICH!
Thanks, Rich, for the inspiration you gave me when I became a reborn Christian 8 years ago. and thank you for being my sister's inspiration when her first Christian concert was yours in San Antonio Texas. I pray that your songs will continue to win souls for our Father and continue to be of great encouragement to us. What a great honor you have been given to sing LIVE to our Creator; hope to be at one of those LIVE concerts with you when our Lord invites me.
The music of Rich helped transform the way I look at Christianity. I can still remember listening to my first Rich Mullins tape on my way to a missions trip in Miami. Oh how I hated it. But the more I listened the more it made sense and wasn't boring at all. In fact it was more dynamic and true than anything I had ever heard before. So I decided to strive to live as a radical Christian, no matter how foolish people thought it was. The lyric that Rich wrote that defines the way I want to live is:
"If we can reach
Beyond the wisdom of this age
Into the foolishness of God,
That foolishness will save,
Those who believe.
Although their foolish hearts may break,
They will find peace,
And I meet you in that place,
Where mercy leads."
The concert was in 1988 in Pennsylvania and was so awesome. Rich was walking around before the concert and I was able to talk with him for a little while. I was amazed at how personable and down-to-earth he was. He was just a "normal" guy who loved music only second to his love for sharing God's message. During the concert, I was most impressed by the array of musical instruments he played and the many that were incorporated by his band. He was the first Christian musician that I believed really knew how to use his talent for music. As a Christian of 5 years, back then, I was already hooked on his music and ministry. I still am.
I have been inspired by Rich Mullins' music. I have been even more greatly inspired by his life of Christlike compassion. There are many talented people. There are far fewer virtuous. Here was a man who combined the two in faithful service to his Lord.
Mark D. Linville
Professor of Philosophy
Atlanta Christian College
On Thursday morning, during our regular worship chapel time, my friend Jeremy stepped forward to say a few words about the impact Rich Mullin's music and death had had on him. In those ten minutes I was given permission to mourn for a man who I never met, never saw in concert, but who had a profound impact on my spiritual walk. His music touched me, and will continue to touch me, and the legacy he leaves behind- an earnest search for God, and a life of compassion- is one I will continue to strive for, not for Rich, but for the Lord we share that I will continue to serve.
Our God blessed him with his gifts, and our sovereign God was in control when Rich was finally allowed to come home.
I will continue to long for my home,
I've started this message over about five times because I am at such a loss of words. I am 27 years old and have a 16 month old daughter and one on the way. After being brought up in a christian household, I fell away when I went to college. I always knew God was there by my side, but something was definitely lost in my relationship.
I even attended christian meetings hoping to find some real fellowship, but went throughout my entire college career wondering why christianity was the one and only way to go. During my senior year, at the age of 22, a friend introduced me to your son's music. By the end of my senior year, I had every one of his songs memorized and went to a concert held in West Lafayette, In. Rich was genuine and human. He talked about his struggles as a christian and his sincerity was so evident in his lyrics. During the hard times, there was "Hope to Carry on." "Boy Like Me/Man like You" is one of my favorites because it reminds us Jesus was a boy before he was the man we know. He went through hardships too.
I look back and think what a big part your son played in reshaping my christian walk. I am a high-school math teacher now, but have chosen to stay home and be a housewife until my children get older. My husband and I teach a high-school Sunday school class and he plays the guitar for the Weds. night Youth Group. He is also a teacher and loves God with all his heart. We sing "Awesome God" and many other songs in our youth services. My husband would get so frustrated, wondering HOW Rich could sing a trillion words in such a small sentence with three only chords. I'd laugh, because I'd be reminded of the song, "Where You Are."
So, Rich not only touched our generation with his music, but his music will live on AS GOD INTENDED....and will affect future listeners as well. He and Keith Green have touched millions of hearts not only by what they said through their music, but by the life they chose to lead and what they chose to stand for. Now, they are wearing crowns.
My husband is a football coach and is going to be at a game tonight. He does not know yet, but I know his reaction will be the same as mine. You have millions of people praying for you and sharing your loss.
May God richly bless you.
Melissa and Jeff Hutchison
Dear Mullins Family and Friends,
I, like many others, experienced a heart stopping moment when i heard that Rich had died. I heard it after church on Sunday and I just sat there for awhile feeling confused; I was imagining the joy that Our Lord must be feeling to finally have Rich with Him, but then there was extreme sadness in my heart for the loss of one of God's most inspiring disciples.
I have been to a few of Rich's concerts and have a lot of his music with me. The Lord spoke through Rich quite a few times not just to myself, but also to my brother in a fairly crisis- like situation. You've probably been hearing Rich stories and reading Rich stories for the past week. Praise God! Rich really answered the Lord's call and made sure he delivered the message on to others.
My favorite Rich story is the time that I first heard him in concert. It had been the first Christian concert (let alone any concert) I had ever been to. The Lord really spoke to me of some changes that i needed to make in my life through the music and the rain that we made (the hand thing he did in the middle of his concerts). Afterwards, i got a chance to meet with Rich. I went and spoke to him for awhile and then asked him to pray for me and you know what he did? He brought out the wisdom of God and told me to find a women, an elder at my own church, in whom i could confide and ask her to pray for me. Rich said that he was no one great and that he didn't know what i was going through so a prayer from him wouldn't have any special powers....what he did do though was pray with me right then and that he would ask the Lord to provide a way for me. That was one of the most powerful and wise prayers i had ever been a part of. He asked me my name and all and then i left.
afterwards, they had set up a table where we could go get things autographed. It was funny because a group of us from my church had gone but there were still a few missing. So i kept going back up there to get things signed for other people. Every time i went up, Rich would sign something else for me with the advice to "Be God's"....but by the end of the night he memorized my little group and my name. His humbleness wasn't just evident by his barefeet, but by his plain old humor. The last thing few things he signed for me said "Minnie, Be God's again" and "Minnie I ain't signing anything else for you, Be God's". He was a classy man who definitely left a good impression, God's love for me, on my heart.
I extend a heart full of prayers for you all and for especially for Mitch. A heart full of Praises to Jesus for the good work He completed in Rich.
On behalf of the Chicago Mar Thoma Youth Fellowship and myself, God Bless You.
until we meet on That Glorious Day,
Thank you very much. I will contact you in a few weeks.
I still can't believe he's gone...we will miss him deeply til we see him again!
As I look at all of these letters all I can say is WOW! God used Rich in a mighty way. He was humble. I am a teenage, and I struggle with pride and being accepted. There were days I would come home and listen to Rich. It wasn't long after that God would speak to me. There were days I was moved to tears, other days to frustration at myself, shame, awe, and joy. I have to constantly be reminded how short life is. I have to constantly re-gain an eternal perspective on life. Rich was such a great role-model for me. I know people tend to put my generation down and say how hopeless we are, but I have to say "Well, where are our role models?" Even though Rich was popular in Christian music, he did not let it go to his head, or worry about what will sell etc. I wish I could tell him all I feel, but in Heaven, I'll get to see the One who made him the person he was!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!!!! Now that is cool!!!!!!!!!
I know this has taken me a while to write. I just couldn't get the words written down before & now, I've got to send them. So, I hope someone out there reads it; just reads it. Thank you.
What type of an impact has Rich Mullins' music made on my life? What hasn't it done?!? Back in 1992, I did not listen to a drop of Christian music at all. One Saturday afternoon, I "accidentally" saw Rich in concert. He was playing at 6-flags. The person I was with wanted to see the concert before his & after. Since we had good seats, we decided to stay. =) As soon as Rich walked out onto the stage, I was intrigued. But, it wasn't until a couple months later that I listened to his music. You see, I was away at college & this man began stalking me. It was the worst 2 years of my entire life & yet, it was the best. It was during this time that I decided to run. Run from everything. School, home, responsibility, friends, family, and even God. Then, I remembered that strange guy that I saw a couple months before without the shoes. =) Suddenly I thought, maybe he can help me. So, I went out & bought The World as Best as I Can Remember it Vol I & II. ~And, (the best part)God's hand reached down on the random play on my CD player & played the song "Where You Are" several times in a row. I simply dropped to my knees & gave all of my fear over to My Lord. Since then, dealing with that, my daddy's death, and growing in general, God has sent me a strong message every couple months (via Rich's music). There has been a lot of growth spurred from many a Rich Mullins song. And now, with his death, God has taught me yet another lesson. I don't have to be afraid of death. My Savior is waiting for me there & It will be a wonderful homecoming! Praise the Lord for Rich & the music we were allowed to listen to through him! He taught us to love God with our all & love everything that belongs to Him. God is the God of everything good, let's remember that & continue to Be God's!
Cathy (St. Louis)
I think all of us who have been touched by Rich in some way are going to miss him. But isn't it awesome to know that when it's our turn to go home, he'll be one of the people who will welcome us? If it wasn't for "Hold Me, Jesus" I probably wouldn't be writing this. His songs encouraged, uplifted, convicted, and strengthened me. I pray they continue to do so. I will stand on the promise Jesus has given me. I will stand and never fall. I will work and pray until You come Or until You take me Home. Home to the Father. No, that's nothing that Rich wrote. It's something I did, and I think it would say something he felt about our lives on earth in a simple way. I will see you again my friend, but until then, I will feel a little homesick...
I've waited and thought and prayed. I thank God for the message I have heard and continue to hear in the music Rich Mullins brought to my life. It is the out reach that I can offer as I share his music with others. Thank you Lord for letting Rich bring an awesome message from God to all of us.
My life (like so many others) has been powerfully impacted by Rich's music and ministry and as I have been reading in all the posts about people's lives, the words in Rich's music, and what about his life people were affected by, I have been encouraged in and pointed to the Lord. It truly has been a glimpse of our Father's heart, how he can use regular broken humans to do supernatural things, and an incomplete, but beautiful picture of heaven. It is also great to see technology being used in a way that truly makes people's lives better (after all the Lord must have created technology too!!) Believers scattered all around this planet have been connected and shared their prayers, praises and thanksgiving together.
I read these memorials as I am trying to hear the Lord's call on my life concerning full-time ministry. I have been feeling that my gifts and passions in life may be best suited to ministering to kids and leaders. I want to spend my life for the Lord, give it away, and I have read about a man who did his best to do that and I have heard from so many about the eternal impact that effort has made. From my journalling, here are some things from Rich's life I want to be characteristics of my life also: -humility - to be able to "walk off stage, giving all the glory to God" -simple and unassuming - to walk barefoot and love jeans and t-shirts and not be mis-directed by things of this world -brutally honest - about my faith, failures, struggles, and the joy and cost of following the Lord -centered on and passionate about scripture -"longing for home" Thank you Lord for the things you taught me in Rich and his music.
I am praying for you, the Mullins family, Mitch and his family, and the truck driver.
I found out last night that Rich Mullins was killed in a car crash. This is hard to swallow for anybody who knew him or his songs much at all. Rich's quirky life got inside us. His work moved and disturbed us in its relentless homage to the truth of Christ.
So full of whimsy and the sound of the Eternal ringing in his ears, Rich was famous for being clueless and profound at the same time! He was both an eccentric stranger and a friend to me. I played and sang on his albums. We did concerts together. Being a part of his music is one of the cherished hallmarks of my life.
I suppose it's no real surprise that his life ended abruptly. He did seem to live like a meteorite! The "reckless raging fury" of God's love is what he was onto! I simply hoped for more chapters, more chances, more strange improvisational occasions to play for and glimpse the wild heart of a true believer.
So goodbye Rich. Go headlong into the mystery of God. I am grateful to have lived during your lifetime.
- Billy Crockett
My wife and I saw Rich for the first time at Jesus Northwest (Vancouver, WA) in July, 1993. He had just gotten his head shaved because he performed at an air force base the night before! Quite the shock seeing him so long haired in all the articles. He was so awesome on the dulcimer, and his music had such an incredible amount of heart. I have met a number of CCM artists over the last ten years, my wife and I really hoped to have met him to let him know what his music means to both of us. Rich really has been our favorite male vocalist and songwriter. We are very sad that we have lost our friend, but we rejoice that he is home and I am looking forward to seeing him when I, too, cross heaven's gate. God bless Rich's music to bless the many, many people who have been moved by his ministry - and many more through his recordings.
To Rich's family and friends:
I just wanted to pass on my condolences to Rich's family and friends.
As so many others have written, I never met Rich, but through listening to his music and seeing him on stage, I feel that I knew him well. I've been listening to Rich almost exclusively since I first heard him five years ago, and seen him in concert three times (any time I knew he was within a 300 mile radius).
His CD's were the first to be placed in my CD player 4 1/2 years ago, and I've added each new album as it's become available. It holds 10 CDs, and Rich's are never removed. The 10th slot will soon be filled with Canticle. I also have purchased each cassette for my car (which often were replaced when one or another was given to a hitch-hiker), and have the "Songs" and "Brother's Keeper" CDs at work as well.
I admire his honesty, his openness and his humility. He was real, his music is incredible, his lyrics are breathtaking. He had a wonderful way of describing ordinary things - "I can see the covenant colors the sun and the rain have woven against the blue of the sky" - the most beautiful description of a rainbow I've ever heard. His songs are inspiring, challenging, and I've never heard anything that compares to them.
Thanks Rich, for sharing your music, your life, and your love of God with us.
To the family of Rich Mullins,
We at KRMT TV in Denver, Colorado want to express our sadness at the passing of Rich. It has been our privilege to air his music videos on Z-Music. We have received phone calls from his fans and we will air a half hour special featuring his music videos on Tuesday, September 30th. Rich's music greatly touched me. I never tired of hearing Awesome God. Whenever things start to be too much to handle, I think of the message in that song. God bless you and may our God of all comfort help you through your time of grieving.
Jesus worked thru Rich's music to get me through a divorce. I finally got to see him in concert with Mitch 8-10-97. Not a day has gone by when SONGS isn't heard by my family since the concert and no, we aren't tired of the praise music. He sure is missed. My Sunday school class was learning MY ONE THING for our Christmas program, my two year old sat down and started singing STEP BY STEP at church thru the microphone and astonished us all. What can I say but Glory to God for the gift of Rich Mullins. Prayers and love to all.
My heart is so broken for you all. While I never met Rich, his music spoke my heart in words that I could never have expressed. I have gained hours and hours of comfort by listening to his songs. He had such deep insight into the things of God and into the meaning of scripture. My prayers are with you.
Dear Mullins Family,
I am very sorry for your loss. Rich Mullins touched my heart and my spirit many years ago. His ministry of music and scripture based teaching were a wonderful difference in Christian music where many performers do not use the Bible as a basis for their message. Know that he made a difference, and that he was loved my many who did not know him personally, but to whom he spoke to on a personal basis.
"I'll pray for you always,
and I promise you this,
I'll carry on, I'll carry on"
God bless you,
We were blessed to have Rich for the short time he was here on earth and want you to know he has touched many lives with his music and lyrics. God Be Close to you.
The Bridge Builder
An old man walking a lone highway
Came at the evening old and gray
To a chasm vast and deep and wide
Through which was flowing a rapid tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim
That rapid stream held no fears for him
But he turned when he reached the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide
"Old man" yelled a traveller near
You are wasting strength in building here
Your journey will end with the passing day
You never again will pass this way
You have crossed the chasm deep and wide
Why build a bridge on the other side
The builder lifted his old gray head
Good friend in the path I have come he said
There will come after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way
This chasm that has held no fear for me
To that young one may a pitfall be
He too must cross in the twilight dim
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.
My youth minister from when I was growing up died last November and he and Rich were friends. This poem was read at my youth minister's funeral and I think it applies to Rich as well. I can probably speak for countless people that Rich helped to build a bridge for us. Many times I would listen to Rich and his music could lift you up, make you reflective and inspire you all at the same time. His music is something that can't be described with words. I was truly blessed to have been a friend of Rich for about 18 years and to have been able to hear him in concert so many times I'd be afraid to try to number them. He did not allow his 'fame' to change him. Perhaps in this, Rich can serve as an example to us.
I can't help but think that Rich's music will live on forever in this generation and hopefully in generations to come. He has touched the lives of so many.
As saddened as I am at his absence, I am more happy for him. He is now where he belongs. Rich was a special person who touched the lives of all who ever met or knew him. I can probably speak for all when I say that I'll miss him.
Finally, I can't help but think about a card at my youth minister's funeral. Someone had seen fit to place a 'Congratulations' card at his funeral with the message, "You win." We all know that in all that matters, Rich won and is now enjoying his just reward and is close to the One who was closest to him.
Leave a light on for us Rich. We love you.
I've only been to one concert. I was struck by Rich's humility, his incredible musical ability, his sense of humor, and his stories. The illustrations he used to get a point across really hit close to my heart. The next day he graciously accepted an invitation to sing at our church service and sang all the songs he didn't have time for at the concert. He ministered to our congregation as if he had the eyes of God.
Rich's song "Home" helped me get through the difficult times I have faced during my life especially during my mother's fight with cancer and eventual death. Sometimes dealing with those hard times it really helped to have a song which expressed..."If I stand, let me stand on the promise that You will pull me through. And if I can't let me fall on the grace that first brought me to You." He was so good at moving his audience to a closer walk with Christ!
I only met Rich this summer at CIY in Gunnison Colorado, as a sponsor for our youth group. Though our meeting was brief I can't remember when I have been so taken with someone. There is so much more that I would have liked to talk to him about. He will continue to be a strong influence on our kids (and adults) for some time to come. I give thanks to the Lord for our meeting. As is apparently often the case he made disciples of us as he passed through our lives. If we each can only touch one other person as he touched each of us, imagine what it will be like. My prayers are with his family and Mitch and his family.
Wow. I've been reading some of the messages from people who loved Rich and am overwhelmed. He has had such a great impact on the lives of so many people that it's hard to imagine life on earth without him. I find myself catching my breath when I remember that he is gone. His music is part of my soul.
I will always admire his constant faithfulness (Phil. 1:3) to God and the ministry he was given. I am sure his parents had much to do with this. We should all be so lucky to have loving, faithful Christian parents.
For Rich's family, I pray that you will continue to find comfort in Jesus. I realize this isn't your first brush with loss. May you draw ever closer to one another as you draw closer to Jesus in your pain.
As I was reading the messages I noticed countless references to Rich's songs. We can't keep away from them because they speak not only his heart but our own. Do you suppose he waved "Goodbye" from his chariot of fire? And do you remember what Susan said? That love is found in the things we've given up more than in the things that we have kept. Not that we have given him up, but that we can't keep him. He belongs to God.
Here's an entry I made in my journal on September 21: "It comes in waves, the grief. I'll be thinking of something else, then I'll think of Rich and I'll smile. Then I remember he's gone. I catch my breath and hold it. Tears well up in my eyes. I take a few long slow breaths and sigh them out. Such a precious gift he was.He had incredible insight into human nature and an extraordinary ability to write it down. So vulnerable and honest about his struggles and his feelings. Such musical genius. He spoke my heart. He was my biggest hero and my favorite musician. I am going to miss him."
In the midst of my grief I realize mine is nothing compared to that of those who knew him personally, those he loved. He said something in an interview that I wrote down. "I think everyone who allows themselves to honestly be loved is going to be wounded. Your life is a gift, and out of gratitude to God you should go out there and live. And when it's all over you're gonna be pretty wounded. And I hope that you're hurt because people have loved you, not because they have used you." Rich was a wounded man. I am sure his wounds were of love.
Rich has set us an example of a life lived fully for Jesus Christ. My hope is that his legacy will indeed be one of joy, of compassion, and that his death will point many others to the truth.
We at The Bridge (WQCK, Baton Rouge) are deeply saddened at the loss of Rich Mullins.
Even though we struggle with what might have been, words yet to be said, songs yet to be sung, we know that Rich has moved on, and we must as well.
He would want us to remember the God he serves rather than himself.
What a truly awesome God He is to have given us, if only for a short time, a man like Rich Mullins.
I was so heartbroken to hear about Rich. My kid's and I loved him and his music. I don't know if he ever realized this or not but his music was life-changing to a lot of people including myself. If it wasn't for great Christian artists like Rich, I would probably still be listening to some of the music I listened to before I got saved. We loved him and will miss him greatly but I know that we should be rejoicing because he is with the Father now and to know that we will one day see him again makes the grief easier to bear. Our condolences go out to Rich's family and we pray that God will give them peace and comfort at this time. We also pray for healing for Mitch. God Bless!!
Empty and heavy, my heart feels such as loss. The pain winds its way into my deepest places. HOLD ME JESUS always made me cry. I loved you Rich. You healed me. I long for you as I should long for Jesus. May your songs continue to lead me home to Him.
I am listening to KLOVE's tribute to Rich Mullins. Praise be to God for giving us such a talented musician. He has touched my life in a special way! Thank you, Rich!
ear the Mullins family,
Rich's sudden death has made a huge impact on me. My husband (33 yrs.old) suddenly died 15 months ago. Like Rich, he was a Godly man and a very gifted musician. I am grieving with you. I know that I never met him personally but Rich's music has ministered to me and my 3 children. My prayer for you is to be surrounded with friends to care for you and to help you grieve. Everyone grieves differently and that is how God intended it to be. It is a process but with the Lord's strength, you will get through it. It might seem endless, but rely on Christ, He is our Rock. Write your feelings in a journal, talk to friends, talk to God. Get your feeling out, and give them to God. I think one of the most meaningful things that I have clung onto is that my husband's music will continue to bless everyone that hears it. Praise God that Rich had so many songs recorded and they will continue his legacy. And just think, our loved ones are singing with Christ right now! My 4 year old's favorite thought about her daddy is that he is singing with the angels now! God bless you. You will remain in my prayers.
His music introduced me to a new level of true worship! His words stung with truth to the heart of the matter, JESUS, my life is better because he lived! I can only pray that someday someone will say the same about me - because that is what it is all about, JESUS. Thank You Lord for Rich Mullins!
I was and am a fan of Rich Mullins, and have been feeling pain and loss. Maybe not at the same magnitude as you are, but I miss him and have been battling inside myself at why. But GOD has told me, to just trust him, and let him turn this pain into praise that, what the devil meant for evil, God will use for GOOD. Rich is in Heaven with JESUS and we all will see him there soon when Jesus takes us all home in the eastern sky . GOD BLESS YOU Family of Rich, and I love you in the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Rich's music has and will continue to bless me.
To you and to Rich's family, I send heartfelt sympathy at his passing. His music meant a lot to me. I couldn't believe it when I heard he had died. I'm so sorry. Many will miss him. We can remember him by helping to continue the work of spreading the Gospel. That obviously meant a lot to him.
Last month my family and I were able to attend the final concert in Rich's tour with Mitch and This Train in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It was a wonderful, uplifting experience and the frequent lightning flashes through the windows high up behind the stage served as a reminder of the Lord's awesome power throughout the evening. It seemed obvious that these young men had had a great time together and had some bittersweet feelings that their tour was ending. Before the concert began Rich came out and stood behind the back row where we were sitting. My husband turned to him and mentioned how we had enjoyed seeing him a few years ago at Cornerstone and Rich gave us his big grin and said "Well, it will just be more of the same!" God Bless Him! Yes, it was the same--the gospel in song--God's truth, His love, His grace, His mercy, and our longing for Him. Rich's longing is over, thanks be to God. May God comfort all who loved him.
I have started this note over twice now, and I still have no idea how to express the impact that Rich's music has had on my life. He was much more than a songwriter to me. He was a mentor. I heard him say in concert a couple of months ago that his hero was St. Francis of Assisi. Well, my hero was Rich Mullins. I greatly admire Christians of extraordinary intellect who aren't afraid to think beyond what's accepted by the masses. Rich was like that. He, along with C.S. Lewis, challenged me and awed me with his intelligence, wisdom, honesty, and incredible talent. I know I should be saying that he's in a better place and he's happy now, but at this point I'm not that unselfish. I can't help but wonder what won't be said now that he's not here to say it. What would he have written next, and for the next forty years? And I can't help but feel that the world is not quite as good a place to be as it was with him here. My prayers and deepest sympathy go to his family and friends.
May you be comforted.
He was named Rich because that's what he made our lives.
I met Rich briefly outside of a coliseum where he performed in Houston a few years ago. He performed with another Christian singer and Rich went on first. We had church in the morning and a couple we were with had kids to get back home to -- about an hour's drive -- so we left in the middle of the second performer's act.
While walking back to the car, we ran into Rich and Beaker. We chatted for a moment, relayed that we loved his lyrics and music, and then went on our way home, invigorated from the brief encounter as much as from the concert. We went home on a high, and I'm sure Rich wouldn't have understood the reason. We got to have a brush with a great man of God, a quiet mouthpiece for God whose life and song lyrics whispered holy truths as easily as common men chat about the weather.
I'm sure he would never understand why we left in wide-eyed awe of having had our live intersect with his. He seemed to think of himself as getting in the way of what God was saying and doing through him. Much as the talented musician is the one who can make his instrument sing, Rich realized who made him sing. I think that he felt that he limited his Master by his human nature and unintentionally kept God's loving message in check by Rich's own faults and frailties. I hope he also knew how many of us wished that someday on earth the Master could make such pure music with us.
I thank God for Rich and his songs that will be sung generations from now, that praise God and offer a glimpse into his kingdom.
Love and Prayers,
Kevin & Cheryl Jones
To the family of Rich Mullins:
I offer my deepest sympathy. My family and I are very grateful to all of you for raising Rich to be a man who loved our Lord so very much.
Rich's music ministered to me in many dark and difficult times. I often played it for friends, both Christian and non-Christian, when I lived in Mongolia. It was the only American music I ever saw them respond well to, but they really loved the sound and message. I got to meet Rich at a concert last month and told him so. He wasn't perfect, but he was God's.
My husband and I first met Rich and Beaker at Indiana Christian Youth Conference. I was amazed at how Rich reached the kids. He and Beaker even held a session to talk to the youth. Rich's music has filled our home ever since.
After that we tried to see Rich anytime he was in the area. We went to the retreat that was held in South Bend. They talked about what love really is and love of God. It was a wonderful weekend.
This last spring we were privileged to see the concert and met Mitch. We missed Beaker, but it is not easy to do everything with a family. When the band performed Creed, it brought the whole house to their feet to praise God together. We made it to the play the next night also.
We last saw Rich at Ft Wayne on the 14th of August. It was very special because we brought our kids with us. Joshua is five and has heard Rich all of his life. He sang right along on Brother's Keeper. We stayed around afterward with Rich, Mitch and meet the new guys. Rich talked for a while and then passed out cookies that someone had made for him.
It is hard to describe how much Rich affected my life. His love of God was real and he showed it to everyone, but it was okay that some may not approve or understand. He showed us where to find the raging love of God. I've always been encouraged to try and love others more because of Rich. It is because of Rich we sponsor Compassion and work with youth at our church. We just want to do what God intended us to do so we can know the love of a God who gave his all for us.
Rich seemed to work so hard at trying to show God's love to others. He will be missed but I am sure that Rich is very happy to be there with our Jesus in heaven. It will be great to see Rich with Jesus someday. Rich left us his music to encourage us to continue to seek Jesus and do his will.
For now, we just have to somehow try and fill the gap. There are enough of us that enjoyed his music and his willingness to share God's love that we could make a huge impact if we just try to love the way Rich did. Just let our "Awesome God" be our "One Thing"
Thanks to Rich's family, Beaker, Gay, Kathy, Bear, Mitch and all the others who helped Rich. Thank you Rich!
Peace of Christ!
I only became aware of who Rich was last year when he and the band were in concert in Minneapolis-- I'd heard the music but hadn't placed a face to it until then.
I've been blessed by the music and, more importantly, by the message behind the music. I've also been blessed in that Rich wasn't there to entertain-- no facade, no theology of prosperity, just a flawed searching human who was both greatly talented and yet deeply humble and who wasn't afraid to share himself, his struggle and his God with a bunch of strangers.
God bless you Rich, I hope that there are dulcimers in heaven.
Praise be to our Holy Father for giving Rich the chance to touch our lives. For all those obscure lines you don't hear until you've heard the song for the 1000th time. The kind of lines that let you know that Rich was struggling too and that he was in the journey home just like me and you. Welcome Home!! Thank You Lord Jesus!
My name is Sandra Bailey and I manage a Joshua's Christian store. It was a sad time to hear of the passing of Rich Mullins. However, I am able to see firsthand the impact he had on so many Christians lives including my own. He was the first Christian artist I ever heard and started me down my path of salvation. It is also a rejoicing time to know that one of our Christian brothers is at home with his Lord. I'm am truly sorry for your loss and will keep everyone of the Mullins family in my prayers. God bless and may time heal your hurt.
I was fortunate enough to see Rich perform at the University of Portland. I'm so glad I went. Rich's songs allowed me to Praise the Lord very openly and sing along with my whole heart. Praise the Lord for Contemporary Christian music and that Rich was part of it! It was CCM that brought me to the Lord and it was Rich's music that helped me grow.
My prayers go out to Rich's family at this time and in the days and years to come. Rich's music had special meaning to me and my family. The CD Winds Of Heaven - Stuff Of Earth was one of the first Christian Cds I bought. And when I heard the song "If I Stand" I was deeply touched. I would listen to that song again and again. Not long after that I had a scrape with death caused by a bad reaction to a drug given to me while I was sick. During my recovery time I had several times I was allowed to spend some time at home for over night visits. When my wife picked me up she had a tape of that Cd set to play that song. It helped me to cope with the things that were going on in my life at that time. In the years since that song has kept a special spot in my heart. I had a chance to see Rich in concert in Ames IA in 95 and when he sang it I was deeply touched. Great concert. I had the chance to see Rich in concert in Waterloo IA on Aug. 8 of this year. This concert was even better. It was in a small church, and the night was more like a family sitting in their living room singing than it was a concert. I know that Rich is singing at the feet of the God he praised so in all of his songs. And that as Christians we will hear him again when we all are in that great choir. But until then I will miss him very much.
He did a concert at my church in Bellville, Il in July 1997. We got to help set up and tear down and spend some time really getting to know Rich and the band. He did his little sermon thing and really made me consider working with the Indian schools in New Mexico. I can't tell you how much he touched people at that concert. It is so obvious that he really had God in his life. Everything he did was ALL for the glory of the God he loved. I know he is glad to be home. I am so glad that I got to see him before he died.
Rich Mullins is the first person for whose death I've ever shed tears. My heart aches for his family, and though I never knew him personally, I, too, feel a deep emptiness. This past week, I have listened to his music everyday during my 45 minute commute to and from work. I've been amazed at how many of his song lyrics reference going "home." I can just picture what a beautiful and tender homecoming his was last Friday, with Jesus greeting him at heaven's entrance, proclaiming "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Jesus, Prince of Peace, is now holding him forever. Although I lament the fact that I will no longer look forward to buying the next Rich Mullins CD, I rejoice in knowing that he continues to compose and sing his praises to the Lord in heaven.
To the extended Mullins Family:
As a fellow Christian I have supported Rich for so many years because so often he was able to articulate within the worship of his songs and the sincerity of his compassion for others the love and relationship to the Lord that dwelled within my own heart. In his ministry of music, Rich helped all of us hear and recognize Christ's presence in our own lives and in our world through unabashedly displaying him in his own Life. We see a life that gave so much. A model of surrender that strove to emulate his savior. And in doing so, he brought both encouragement and challenge to all those like myself who ever had the privilege to worship with him or through his music. While your family certainly can be comforted that your loved one is indeed in communion with his creator, I pray that our Heavenly Father will provide a comfort for you as you manage to personal loss of physical interactions with Rich. It is both for his life, and for your comfort that I pray.
David W. Hindman
Dear Relative's and Friends of Rich,
I am so sorry we longer have Rich in our presence. I am so grateful for the beautiful songs of praise, thanksgiving, worship, and hope he left behind. Rich's music and the joy in which he delivered his message was truly anointed from our Lord and will always be a source of blessing for me... especially in my recent periods of deep personal losses.
Thank you Rich, I look forward to singing praise's with you to our Lord in His presence, for all eternity.
Jesus Is Lord,
Monty E. Goodell, II
and children, Jarrett, Shannon and Rachel
The God inspired music and lyrics from Rich, were so clear, simple, and moving, that each time I listen to them, they move me, to love, and praise God everyday, in all things. Rich wrote from such a down to earth, and so very real way, that I will miss him dearly. He is with the person he loves, and served obediently. Thank you Lord Jesus for our time with him, his family is in my prayers........
I've never been to any of his concerts, but I sure love his music. His music is very unique... and it stirs my heart to listen to it, even now when he's dead and there won't be any more wonderful songs coming from God through Rich's heart. I thank God that Rich was here as long as he was... God blessed us richly by this music.
At a time when I felt rather disappointed with most Christian singers in their approach to this ministry which I felt was a good channel to bring people to the knowledge of Christ, I'm glad to find Rich Mullins is one of the extraordinary ones. Have been most impressed with his ability to bring the message of Christ across in such a unique and creative way and find his music rather different from most people. It is a shock for me to receive the news of his death. While we mourn for the loss of this man whom God had raised, I pray that He would likewise raise more people of Rich Mullins calibre to bring honour and glory to Himself. My deepest condolences to his family.