If I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home.
Rich Mullins, "If I Stand"
Rich Mullins was run over and killed by a tractor-trailer after being
flipped out of a sports utility vehicle that went out of control on
Friday night, September 19, 1997.
Mullins never thought of himself as famous or talented, and never cared
about being rich. What he cared about was serving God and serving others
-- a message of joy that resonates throughout the contemporary Christian
music he wrote and recorded.
"In the industry, he was considered by many to be the greatest writer
of our time," said Mullins' manager and friend, Jim Dunning, Jr. "But if
Rich had his preference, I think he'd prefer not to be remembered. Rich
would prefer that the God he believed in be remembered."
Mullins recorded nine albums and had more than 50 hit songs in his
career, which began in the early 1980s. While a student in Cincinnati,
he was offered a recording contract and caught the attention of Amy
Grant. She recorded several of his songs including, "Sing Your Praise
to the Lord," which became a Grant hit.
Mullins was nominated for several Dove Awards. He was considered a
"core artist" in contemporary Christian radio, a pillar around which
other artists' songs were programmed. His best-known song, "Awesome
God," is a modern standard in many Christian churches and is especially
popular with young people.
Editor's Note: I had the opportunity to visit with Rich on several
occasions, including a couple of treks to his unpretentious country home
outside of Nashville. He was a fun but intense man who enjoyed arguing
with me about Southern traditions, and never understood concrete lions
at the end of a driveway. He will be greatly missed.