About the site

Who are you? Why would you create this site?

I have always loved biographies. Especially when they're about someone creative, such as an author or a musician. You get to see the victories and failures; the carefully made plans, as well as the accidents; the long, strange story of what made someone who they are. Often, the flaws and failures play as much of a part of their "greatness" as anything else. More often still are the events that the person had little control over that ended up playing a major part of their story. If one little event had been slightly different, a persons entire life might have turned out differently. In order for Rich to become Rich, he had to discover the hammer dulcimer at that dulcimer festival in Ohio. He had to be bad at farm work, while knowing something about planting fruit trees. I wanted to tell the story of Rich's imperfect life, which God used to make the perfect "Rich."

"heritage doesn't puff you up with pride. It really humbles you. If you look at the lives
of the people you come from you kind of go, 'if they had married anyone else, if they had moved
anywhere else, if their lives had been one iota different, I wouldn't be here." - Rich Mullins

Work on this Website, which is a "Fan site" - not connected to Rich or his family, began back in 1996. At that time, the Timeline was part of a larger site that included similar information about other favorite artists of mine. As time went on, and after Rich died, I wanted to expand the site to pay tribute to the artist and the music that meant so much to me and those around me for so many years. I felt as though that while there is a lot of information about Rich on the internet, it is all fragmented and in some cases even misleading or inaccurate. I am attempting to get as close as I can to the actual story (as best as I can remember it), without digging into information that is too personal or gossip. At the same time, I am in no way sanitizing events or trying to paint Rich as flawless. It would be contradictory to his career and ministry to do so.

I should also add that others have done similar projects in print or film - such as Bryan James Smith's wonderful book An Arrow Pointing to Heaven and the 2014 film Ragamuffin. I highly recommend both, but I do think the focus of both projects is a little different than my website. Here, it has been my goal to tell the story mostly through the words of the people that lived it. A chronological history of interviews, eye witness accounts and personal experiences. The stories behind songs and the events that shaped the artist. Hopefully, I can also capture a bit of Rich's brilliance as well, through his own words. I hope you enjoy the journey.

(by Jimmy Abegg)

About the Author

Eric Townsend has, for the last 16 years, worked on more than 40 musical projects and websites for artists including Mark Heard, Randy Stonehill, The Choir, Phil Madeira, The 77s and even made a small contribution to Rich's final recording The Jesus Record in 1998. The bulk of his work however has been most heavily associated with a man by the name of Terry Scott Taylor, as well as his bands Daniel Amos, The Lost Dogs and the Swirling Eddies. (DanielAmos.com)

Copyright 1996-2015. Eric Townsend All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce or publish without permission.