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How Has Rich Mullins Impacted You?

posted: September 13th, 2012 by Kelly VE

We polled some of our listeners and asked, "What artist has had the most spiritual impact on your life?" We received over 300 responses of which Rich Mullins was one of the most citied artists; here are some of their stories.

"Rich Mullins has the kind of music you can just cry out to God while listening to -- because he was crying out to God as well, I think. He was especially important to me when I was going through a divorce. I still remember when I heard on the radio that he died - I wept like he was family." - Kim M., MI

"Rich's songs really set the bar for me in terms of Christian music - he pulled no punches lyrically or musically and he lived what he sang. I found echoes of myself in his honest expressions of humanity and spiritual longing. Based on that, I came to expect those qualities of humility and approachablility in my choices of Christian music. Now, songs by people like: Andrew Peterson, Andrew Osenga, Andy Gullahorn, Jill Phillips, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken & Randall Goodgame fill my playlist. But I still listen to Rich every now and then - and it still stirs something in me every time." - Mike A., VA

"Lots of artists have songs I love that have inspired and uplifted me, but I have more vivid and deep moemories of the times when it was Rich Mullins - or better said, the things that his muisc uplifted me from were deeper than other songs I can recall. I have several memories of going outside my house at night, very late when everyone else was asleep, and singing his songs while looking at the stars. Despite the picturesque image they were usually times when I was extremely torn up over some family issues. I'd go outside and sing as a way to comfort and encourage myself and by the time I was ready to go back inside I'd at least feel somewhat better, and often felt fully cheered up. His songs have given me courage to believe in God to help me, 'Awesome God,' and have been with me when asking Jesus for help, 'Hold Me Jesus.' At other times, they were there when I simply loved seeing the stars and the fields at night and had to sing about how beautiful God is, 'Calling Out Your Name.' So while there are about a dozen artists that I can say have had an impact on my spiritual life, I think that Rich Mullins is probably the primary culprit for change." - Arahmynta V., Canada

"There is no question in my mind that Rich Mullins has been the most influential musician in my walk with Christ. His lyrics and music spoke to me even before I was saved. After I came to Christ it felt like he was singing TO me and FOR me in almost every song." - Joy H., AZ

"I started listening to Rich Mullins' recordings when I was an immature Christian. Rich and his songs taught me a lot about the beauty of God and his creation, the importance of the church, and basic theology. I later learned that the song that kept me from committing suide before I was saved was recorded by Amy Grant, but penned by Rich Mullins. The song was 'Doubly Good.'" - Bill S., TN

"Rich Mullins had a deep impact on my spiritual life. I appreciated that he was honest with his sinful nature and to a point embraced it - giving grace that much more meaning. Rich helped me see that we are all like filthy rags, but that we are loved by our creator and our only response to that love is worship." - Corey T., GA

Make sure you check out our special 3-week tribute honoring Rich: episode #204, episode #205, and episode #206. You can also enter our Rich Mullins contest where you have the chance to win his entire discography.  Has Rich Mullins' music made a spiritual impact on your life?  Share your story below. 

Comments (8)

Somehow Rich was threaded in my life since the beginning. “Sing Your Praise to the Lord,” I would consider the song of my life. I didn’t know it was a Rich song until it came out on Songs. I use to repeat it for hours. Ultimately, I learned Bach fugue in C minor (the intro) from the same music prof he had probably 15 years apart. The depth of Rich’s lyrics pulled me in at an early age… I had the tape collection and listened to them constantly mixed with a little Petra and other stuff. The earthiness of his tone, musicality and lyrics is what I identified with, the homegrown artistry mixed with high culture musical talent, in essence, his eclectic nature. When I need to go back to basics, I got to Rich.  A newer friend of mine and I were on a road trip a few months ago, she became a Rich fan and we discovered that we both liked him… As we listened to him that day, we talked about how few Christian songs revolve around the Old Testament (Dr. Hooks theology)—Rich had a talent for taking the OT rawness and making it relevant. It is amazing… Rich always told us to “Be God’s,” the few times we met. I listen to your music and I share your mentors and share friends and professors… the June after Rich left… I thanked his mother for Rich’s artistry and commitment to God. Funny thing, I pictured her making those beans grown out of the Indiana clay. hmmm…

mortilyn 11:33 PM Fri, Sep 14, 2012

Don’t be good, be Gods was something Rich said and I agree totally with that. It is such a simple yet profound statement:)

davyhutton 04:36 AM Sat, Sep 15, 2012

Rich’s music laid the foundations of my Christian walk. I was able to see Rich in concert several times and I appreciated his humility and desire to make his music about God and not about him. (I wish more Christian artists would follow his example)

“A Liturgy, A Legacy & A Ragamuffin Band” remains my all-time favorite album. I remember singing along to “Creed” on road trips, shouting “I believe what I believe.. . it is the very Truth of God and not the invention of any man” at the top of my lungs. When the posthumous “Jesus Record” came out, I wept and had a difficult time listening to Vol.1 for a long time because you could hear Rich’s heart and desire for God in an intimate and raw way. He was not perfect, but he was God’s child and I appreciate so much his gifts and talents and desire to share them with me.

deniseanne16 09:21 AM Sat, Sep 15, 2012

Phil Keaggy Alumni I’ve been around forever, Rich Mullins had a huge impact on me. I still carry and share Homeless Man often, with those I feel need to know Rich. His humility was infectious, and still see him with his dog, in shorts and tee shirt, walking around playing for whoever would listen. God Bless that man.

ngqmusic 10:28 PM Sat, Sep 15, 2012

Rich Mullins made a huge impact on my family. His music was just what we needed at the time. His life was a big influence on all of us. My husband was a non-traditional student going into ministry and his simple ways were the way we choose to live our life too. I think he was brilliant, fun, a little crazy and by all means gifted to reach people. Such a shame he left so early in his life…heaven was richer!

mackster999 05:52 PM Sun, Sep 16, 2012

The first time that I was inrtoduced to Rich Mullins music was oddly at a public high school. The school was raffling off a cooler with items. I won it. Inside I found a cassette of “The World As Best As I Remember It” Volume One. After his death, I took my CCM tribute to Rich Mullins, and had The Ragamuffin Band members to sign it.

KevinW 05:29 PM Mon, Sep 17, 2012

i took a chance on getting his cassette from columbia .  his firsr project was self titled “rich Mullin”.  the projet hit me instantly and i was keeping up with all his projects.  i saw him in concert and my favorite memory of him of how he came to stage on one of his concerts.  he had an empty stool and a guitar on stage.  he walked out and if you did not know who he was yuo’d have thoughthe was going to introduce him, and well thats what he did.  he introduced himself and started to play.  the las tconcert i went to he would play and most of the people were singing with him as he played.  even his obscure songs.  when he passed away it broke my heart and i thought about the elijah song.  (sorry not too good on rembering titles) but my friend then knew i like his music and she had a cd set of him after he died. wow i could not believe it.  and you can hear the songs as he was writing them in that lil church and then full blown.

my utmost 01:01 AM Tue, Sep 18, 2012

Rich Mullins has had a huge impact on my life, and continues to do so.  His music and mission have inspired me.  Listening to any Rich song brings a smile to my face.  I have played “Hold Me Jesus” for myself and friends, when faced with challenges.  This song always brings me peace.  I was able to meet Rich once, and corresponded through a letter.  I loved his concerts, barefoot, hammer dulcimer and all!!  Awesome God is one of my favorite songs, I get chills every time I hear it.  Although he left this earth way too early- he left such a huge, positive impression.  I am sure Jesus and Rich have had many amazing talks.  Great Man Great Music Great Mission.  Miss you, Rich!

KellyAnderson 05:58 PM Wed, Sep 19, 2012

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