Artist Stories


“Rich Mullins introduced me to an experience with God in the context of music that I had never known…. He made lofty ideas about God so earthy.”


“Rich’s transparency about his messiness helps me believe that I might be loved in my mess too.”


“He was always mysterious, for sure. I liked him because he wasn’t trying to be mysterious. He was that guy. He was Rich Mullins.”


“When [Rich] talked about God, he was talking about a person that he knew, not about an idea. I wanted that. I was so hungry for that. I’m hungry for it now.”


“Rich’s imagination was so saturated by biblical narratives, his life so ravaged by divine encounter, that his heart began to be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”


 “Rich lived as if he really believed God loved him. That was new for me. I am grateful now, but it took me a long time to get there


“From my experience with Rich’s music, he sends out a very necessary message to others that clearly says, “You are not alone!” It takes someone brave enough to go first, but once someone does go first, transparency begets transparency, mercy begets mercy, vulnerability begets vulnerability— all of the things necessary for healing.”


“And, as far as being in Rich’s shadow, you know I’m grateful to be connected— in the same sentence— or whatever. That’s a great honor because he’s the best. People try and pin me down about how good he is and I go, ‘Well you know, he’s one of the top 3 songwriters in music in the past century’…. So, as far as being in Rich’s shadow, that’s not a bad place to be.”


“I think you know when you meet someone who is absolutely convinced of the love of God. That’s how Rich was.”


“Now that he’s gone, I find myself reevaluating what I’m doing with my life. I think he taught us a lot. And he also was just an unbelievable songwriter and I’m going to miss his songs because there’s nobody who wrote like Rich Mullins”


“Two nights after Rich died, we were all sitting around a table reminiscing— a bunch of his friends— and Jimmy Abegg pulled out two sheets of paper, lyrics to the last two songs Rich wrote. And as he read those lyrics, I sat there stunned at the power of those words. If there’s a better songwriter in Christendom, I don’t believe I know who it is. I think Rich saved his best work for last.”


“He opened my eyes up, I think, to a lot of— just taking Jesus seriously when it comes to selling the things that you have and giving it to the poor…. He sang that song “My One Thing”, the one thing— the pearl that we leave everything in the world for. And that’s what I loved about Rich…. Jesus was his one thing and he left a lot of other stuff but that didn’t really matter because it wasn’t about what you’ve left, it’s about what you found.”


“His legacy is this: If you tell the truth, and you tell it well, there will always be ears to listen to that. And it will always— always— ring true in people’s hearts and it doesn’t matter how old that song is. They’re going to be listening to Rich for a very long time and we’ll be singing his songs a hundred years from now, some of them. And that’s more than you can say about a lot of artists in this world.”


“We used to go outside and smoke— I used to smoke back then and we smoked a lot…. But we spent so much time talking about the scriptures and talking about Jesus. I was just amazed by the character of who he was as a person. And it wasn’t until after the fact that I realized how much of an amazing songwriter he was. And if you asked any songwriter today, ‘Hey, can you write a song that’s theologically accurate, that’s scriptural, that’s poetic, that has a great melody and somehow portrays the massiveness of the human condition and God willing to intersect with it?’ I think most of us would go, like ‘You’re crazy’. But with Rich, that’s what he did in every song.”


“What touched me so much was how he invested his life in other people and he was motivated by a lot of his own suffering to turn towards other people, and to get involved with them.”


“My first time meeting him, he shows up— probably barefoot— and he had these jeans on that had holes all over them, and this big t-shirt and he looked like he had just gotten out of bed. And I figured, well maybe he did just get out of bed but then he looked like that all the time. And so, what I learned from him, based on that, is that appearances don’t always tell the truth. You never know, so you should take everybody as they come to you and try to treat everybody the same way and don’t judge their outward appearance…. Because here was Rich Mullins…. He could have walked downtown in any city and been declared a hobo— if you just looked at him— but he was brilliant. So yeah, that’s a lesson.”