<timeline 1988>

TimeLine : 1988

1955-1974 . 1974-1979 . 1980-1985 . 1986 . 1987 . 1988 . 1989 . 1990 . 1991 . 1992 . 1993 . 1994 . 1995 . 1996 . 1997 . 1998-present . Credits



    1988


    (Photo by Michael Wilson)
  • Rich Mullins began sponsoring a child through Compassion International and began promoting sponsorship at his concerts. He eventually sponsored three children.

  • Rich creates a short message for Christ in Youth.
    "Called!"


    (Photo by Michael Wilson)

    January 2, 1988

  • Rich's brother David Mullins is married at the Hartford Christian Church in Hartford, KY. Rich attended and performed "Double Good To You."

    January 28-30, 1988

  • Rich Mullins is a featured speaker during a conference for High School Juniors and Seniors at Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN.

    February 1, 1988

  • "Could Be A Celebration" debuts on the AC Charts. It would spend 6 weeks on the chart and peak at #29.

    Unknown Date 1988

  • Rich Mullins and his band perform a concert at Judson College in IL.

    Spring 1988

  • Rich enters the studio to record what he thinks may very well be his final album. He ended up recording Winds Of Heaven, Stuff Of Earth, - a true breakthrough album for Rich.
    Rich: "A music career could be a fun thing, [but] it hasn't been so far - this was several years ago - and I really need to switch careers. So we came back, and I was due to go into the studio, and figured, 'Boy, this is gonna be my last album, so I'm not gonna be clever here. I'm just gonna say what I have to say, because I won't get another opportunity to say this.'
    Reed Arvin: "The early records were a bit catastrophic; neither Rich nor I had any real idea what we were doing. I was in love with experimenting at a time when experimenting wasn't economically feasible. So, some of the early stuff is unlistenable. Partly, it was because of a lack of competence, but also because we would try stuff, it wouldn't work out, and then we were out of money to regroup. Everything changed with Winds of Heaven, because that record was made for very little and sold a lot - I don't know how many, but it was certified gold (500,000) a long time ago. I imagine it must be close to platinum. We got better budgets as a result." (Christianity Today Interview 10/25/13)


    Unknown Date 1988

  • Rich Mullins performs at the Church of Ellettsville, IN.

    Unknown Date 1988

  • Rich Mullins performs at a large hotel ballroom in Georgia.

    March 11-12, 1988

  • Rich Mullins performs at the Pennsylvania Christian Teen Convention at the Hershey Hotel and Resort in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

    March 14, 1988

  • Rich Mullins sings a solo at the Community Bible Church in Mansfield, OH.

    Late March 1988

  • Rich Mullins travels to Guatemala as part of Teen Mania, a missionary outreach to orphans and street people. While in Guatemala, Rich also films two new music videos for the songs "How Can I Keep Myself from Singing" & "The Other Side of the World."

  • While on this trip, Rich travels with Devlin Donaldson, who showed him the work of Compassion International. Devlin introduced Rich to the book A Prayer for Owen Meany, which became a favorite book of Rich's.

  • Rich Mullins is interviewed for the TV program Fire By Nite at the Ritz Hotel in Guatemala City.
    "Fire By Nite 1988"

  • Upon returning from Guatemala, Rich asked his brother-in-law Ronald Mac Roberts if he could buy Ronald's Suzucki 1000 motorcycle from him, because he wanted to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. Ronald declined, but he told Rich that he could borrow it. When Rich returned, the motorcycle was a mess. Rich had knocked it over twice and had broken it. He apologized to his brother-in-law and asked him again if he could purchase it and this time Ronald said 'Sold!.' After Rich's death, Ronald learned that the bike was being stored in a garage in Wichita. (Source: Ronald Roberts as told to Therese Klopfenstein, September 18, 2022)

    Spring 1988

  • Rich and three friends hike down tot he bottom of the Grand Canyon.
    Rich: "We were down there for a few days... It was ah, very dry. It was a little bit scary because we did not take the good advice of the rangers and we did not carry enough water with us and by the end of the evening we were very dry and there was no water supplies and so we had to go to bed that night with no water at all and we woke up the next morning, and funny things happen to you when you don't get water and so we decided to go down the south pass trail and I remember the excitement four grown men and when we ran into a little pool of water you would've thought we would've hit gold. It's amazing how valuable something can be when you come to recognize your need for it. I think that's the whole thing about when someone recognizes their need for a savior. Then Jesus isn't just a historical figure that has some significance, historically and maybe morally. Suddenly when you recognize your need and how deep your need is, Jesus does become the most valuable thing that you can have. I think we too seldom allow ourselves to see that need. And maybe it's because it's too good to believe. It's too good to believe that God would love us. It's too good to believe that the God who is holy would love us. It's too good to be true and yet it is true. And that's ah, that’s something I can't even talk about. You know, when you’re walking, or when you're camping out, or whatever, it just seems like such a really nice bunch of people like to camp out. Even the rowdy people, they're still rowdy buy they're rowdy in a nicer way." (Source: Brian Mason Interview, "Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth" Radio Special, 1988)

    April or May 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Steve Cudworth perform at a youth retreat at the Oakland Drive Christian Church in Portage, MI.

    May 6, 1988

  • The Chieftain's The Chieftains Celebration is released. This would go on to become one of Rich's favorite albums.

    Summer 1988

  • Rich: "...there was a point (last summer) when I had this feeling of being completely financially broke and realizing - man, I actually had to pray that my gas tank would last me until the next concert because I didn't have a credit card on me, I didn't have anything, and I just went... this is the first time that I have really gone to Christ and said, 'help. I need Your help.' Because I had become a little bit self supporting.. self contained... I always had money in the bank, I always access to money - I was never rich, but very able to be self reliant and I think that sometimes that self reliance can really suffocate the spirit and really quench it. I think, we need to live on the edge." (Source: Michigan Radio Interview, October 1988)

  • Rich Mullins performs at Rancho Rio, NM.

  • Rich Mullins attends the Centennial Celebration at Erlanger United Methodist Church in Erlanger, KY where he had previously served as a Youth Director for several years.

    July 4, 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at The Mason Dixon Festival at Heritage Fellowship in Florence, KY. at 6:30 p.m. Randy Matthews also performs.

    July 31, 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at the Markle Church of Christ in Markle, Indiana at 3:00 p.m. The concert was followed by a cookout.

    August 2, 1988




  • Rich Mullins third album Winds Of Heaven, Stuff Of Earth, is released on Reunion Records. The album would receive spot number 31 in the 2001 book CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music. The track "Awesome God" became Rich's second #1 single. It was given 1st place in the 2006 book CCM Presents: 100 Greatest Songs in Christian Music. It was also voted one of the top 3 most popular Contemporary Christian songs of the decade.

    The Dog on the cover of the album is Rich's dog Curry.
    Album Reviews

    Rich, on "Awesome God": "You know, the thing I like about 'Awesome God' is that it's one of the worst-written songs that I ever wrote; it's just poorly crafted. But the thing is that sometimes, I think, that when you become too conscientious about being a songwriter, the message becomes a vehicle for the medium. This is a temptation that I think all songwriters have. I think a great songwriter is someone who is able to take a very meaningful piece of wisdom - or of folly or whatever - and say it in a way that is most likely to make people respond. But, what you want them to respond to is not how cleverly you did that; what you want them to respond to is your message."
    For information on how the song was written, see July 1987 in the TimeLine.
    Kathy Sprinkle, on "Home": "The song was written for me. I had been in a really bad place. I was in rebellion. I never didn't believe in Jesus, I didn't think I wanted to follow him at that time. I was in a bad relationship. I talked to Richard and he said 'take a week off and come down and stay with me.' I was on the front porch swinging and listening to him pound out the song he was writing. The song 'Home' is about my coming back to the Lord. It is pretty special. Pretty awesome." (CCM in 3D 2022)

    "If I Stand": The song was actually written - at least in part, more than a decade earlier in the Fall of 1975.

    "The Other Side of the World": The intro is a song that the children in Thailand sang to Rich and the other members of his group when they entered the village. The short verse (which is a mixture of Thai and Lisu) roughly translates to "Pray to God. Pray to God. It will be cool with you if you Pray to God."


    (Photo by Michael Wilson)

    August 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at Rock Lake Christian Assembly high school camp near Vestaburg, MI.

  • Rich runs into Paul Harris at a Zondervan book store in Fountain Square in Nashville, TN. and Rich asked Paul if he would be interested in performing with the Awesome God tour that fall.

  • Reunion Records releases a video collection entitled 4X4, which includes Rich's promotional videos for "How Can I Keep Myself from Singing" & "The Other Side of the World," which were both filmed in Guatamela earlier in the year.

    August 15, 1988

  • "Awesome God" debuts on the AC Charts. It would spend 18 weeks on the chart and peak at #1 on October 3. It was given 1st place in the 2006 book CCM Presents: 100 Greatest Songs in Christian Music. It was also voted one of the top 3 most popular Contemporary Christian songs of the decade.

    August 19, 1988


    (Central Christian Church in Wichita)
  • Rich Mullins, along with longtime friend Kathy Sprinkle, moves to Wichita, KS to be involved with Central Christian Church and to be mentored by Rev. Maurice R. and Doris Howard . Beaker would move to Wichita later in the year following the "Awesome God" Tour.

    Rich and Kathy initially stayed with Maurice and Doris Howard and their family. Rich also stayed with his brother Lloyd for a short time. Lloyd was in the Air Force and was assigned to McConnell Air Force Base.

    Rich became the Choir director at West Evangelical Free Church and he also attended the Central Christian Church. When Rich moved to Wichita, he asked his friend, Connie Hawk to move into his house in Bellsburg and take care of it for him.

    Rich (about a retreat at Central Christian Church in Wichita): "They were ordinary kids, but they knew the scriptures, which was cool. We were only there once, but those kids were constantly on my mind. Then we were in Oklahoma, and a couple of the youth sponsors from Wichita came down and joined us there. They just wanted to support us, and I had never had that kind of support before. I also had a tremendous amount of respect for one of the ministers, Maurice Howard. Anyway, after a lot of prayer and thought, I decided to move to Wichita, because I wanted to be involved in this church. The ironic thing is that Morris died of a heart attack right after there. And people aren't terribly impressed with what I do, but they love me and support me and give me assignments and I'm accountable."
    Doug Ingmire (staff minister at Central Christian): "He asked that he be put under the authority of the elders in three areas: to be accountable for his ministry and lifestyle, to be sent out officially by the church, and to be discipled by an elder, as a covering for him. This affords Rich more freedom, so he can be single-minded and focused in his ministry. We're not a hideout that he can run to every time he does something stupid, but we want to help him be responsible in public. It also gives him a structure for what he is doing. He also leads worship at the church here for us, and he and Beaker share often on Sundays. We want them to be at home here, and I think they feel that way."
  • Rich produces and plays nearly all of the instruments on a project for the Wichita based Prisoners of Hope entitled Choice Lifestyle. Rich also wrote "Make Me Up", "See What A Difference", "Awesome God", and cowrote "One Good Turn" with Steve Cudworth. "One Good Turn" was written in Missouri and first performed live the previous year and a Christ For Youth conference in Joplin, MO. Prisoners of Hope are Sherri Howard (daughter of Reverand Maurice Howard), Shannon McCready, Jamie Waggoner and Jeff Sack.

    Summer 1988

  • Rich and Beaker first begin to discuss forming the Kid Brothers of St. Frank and in 1989 they took informal vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

    August 1988

  • Rich Mullins performed at the Christ In Youth Conference at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO.

    September 1988

  • CCM Magazine Reviews Rich's Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth.
    Album Reviews

  • The TV program Fire By Nite airs an interview with Rich Mullins filmed earlier in the year.
    "Fire By Nite 1988"


    (Awesome God Tour Button)

    September 4, 1988

  • Rich Mullins begins a 16 week "Awesome God tour."

    Kyle Stevens was the drummer, Andy Pouckett was the bass player, and Doug Phillips was the guitarist. Mark Van Meter was the sound technician and Kathy Sprinkle was the road manager. David "Beaker" Strasser was the bus driver for the tour.

    September 17, 1988

  • Rich Mullins headlines at the WHME Birthday Party with Billy Sprague, Kim Hill and Wes King in South Bend, IN.
    Set List (Partial): It Don't Do/Screen Door/Elijah/Nothing But A Miracle/Such A Thing As Glory

    September 18, 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Kathy Sprinkle went to church together and Rich performed a worship service at the church because the pastor was a friend of theirs. Kathy Sprinkle stated that she and Rich and the band had Sundays and Mondays off during the "Awesome God tour."

    Kathy Sprinkle: "We were going to go out to lunch and we had sent the guys off. Rich said, 'I need to talk to you about the next couple of days. I don't want this.' I said, 'you don't want what?' He said, 'THIS. This thing.' I said, 'your career?' He said, 'I don't want it.' I said, 'What's that mean?' He said, 'I'm going go away for a couple of days and I want you to cancel the tour. When I get back, I'll pay you this much and I'll pay the band, but I don't want this.' I said, 'You know this is the end of it all, right?' He said, 'Yup.' And so, he went to see a friend of ours and I went and did my gig."
    Kathy Sprinkle: "Okay, but you understand that if you quit now, your career is over. You know this is the end of it all, right? If you want me to, I'll call and cancel the rest of the tour and we'll refund the tickets.'"

    Kathy then advised Rich to take some time and talk it over with his friend, Sam Howard.


    (Photo by Michael Wilson)

    September 19, 1988

  • Rich Visits his friend Sam Howard in the evening and played games, but Rich never said a word about quitting or cancelling the rest of his tour.

    September 20, 1988

  • On Tuesday morning, Rich said nothing, but he was back on the bus and ready to return to the tour.
    Kathy Sprinkle: "... Tuesday morning, we got back in the bus and we went to work and never mentioned it again."
    Kathy Sprinkle: "So, he was back and forth on it. He finally realized that it cost him a lot, but it was worth it. At that time, he didn't even know if it was worth it or not. By the end of the tour, he was going 'I can do this, but I just have to take a lot of safeguards with how I live my life.'" (Deep Dive Podcast, December 2022)

    September 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at the Oak Creek Assemble of God in Church Creek, WI. as part of the "Awesome God" Tour.

  • The Fire by Nite Christian TV show, episode 8809 "Are We Not All Missionaries" featuring Rich Mullins is broadcast.

    September 23, 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at the Hemmens Auditorium in Elgin, IL at 7:30 p.m. as part of the "Awesome God" Tour.

    September 25, 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at the Forest View HS Auditorium in Chicago, IL. at 10:00 a.m. as part of the "Awesome God" Tour.

    September or October 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform in Dallas, TX as part of the "Awesome God" Tour. While the tour was in Dallas, Rich met a man from Iran who had escaped after the Ayatollah Khamenei came to power. Rich gave him a copy of his newest album Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth and felt that the song "Such a Thing as Glory" would help him.


    (Photo by Michael Wilson)

    October 3, 1988

  • "Awesome God" hits #1 on the AC Charts. The song would spend a total of 18 weeks on the chart.

    October 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at the Chapel at Simpson College in Indianola, IA as part of the "Awesome God" Tour.

    October 9, 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at Lincoln Christian College in Lincoln IL as part of the "Awesome God" Tour. This show was part of the college's High School Fall Campus Challenge Event.

    October 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform in West Knoxville, TN as part of the "Awesome God" Tour.

    October 18? 1988

  • Rich Mullins is interviewed by Foster Braun for WWCM/WMUZ radio's "Love Talk" in Detroit, MI.
    Rich: "What I found in my own life was when I was surrounded by industry people, it brought out the badness in me, it brought out my competitive nature, it brought out my selfishness, it brought out all the things that I wish were not there. That I don't like in other people and that I find completely unacceptable in myself. I had prayed for a long time that I would never fall into the traps that I saw myself falling into. And so I think it would be better to throw away a career than to lose my soul. Not that I believe that our salvation is dependent on that... I think you gain a soul by suffering, and you lose your soul in luxury. Historically the only thing that the Church has not been able to withstand is its own prosperity..."
    Rich, on his trip to Asia: "I'm hoping to go back in about seven years and then spend about ten years there and serve as a missionary and then come back and it might be kind of fun to come back maybe teach in a university or something."
    "Michigan 1988" Transcript

    October 18?, 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform in Detroit, MI as part of the "Awesome God" Tour.

    October 21-23, 1988

  • Rich Mullins, along with friends and family, celebrates his 33rd birthday at his home in Bellsburg, TN.

    October 23, 1988

  • Rich Mullins is interviewed for WLAC radio by Brian Mason in Nashville. During the interview, Rich talked about his new album, Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth. He mentioned that his dog, Curry, who was pictured on the album cover, had recently been hit by a car, but was not injured. He talked about writing the songs "Awesome God" and "Screen Door." He also spoke about celebrating his birthday with his friends and family.
    WLAC Brian Mason Interview 1988

    October 28, 1988

  • Rich Mullins attends a private wedding at Hale's Chapel Christian Church in Tennessee.

    October 29, 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at the Seeger Chapel at Milligan College in Kingsport, TN. as part of the "Awesome God" Tour at 7:30 p.m.

    Fall/Winter 1988

  • Calendar Magazine Reviews Rich's Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth.
    Album Reviews

    November 2, 1988

  • Rich's mentor, the Reverand Maurice R. Howard dies very suddenly at the age of 53. Being mentored by Maurice was a primary reason for Rich moving to Wichita earlier in the year. Howard was survived by his wife Doris, son Sam J., daughters Sue and Sherri.

  • Rich Mullins performs in Philadelphia, PA as part of the "Awesome God" Tour. Kathy Sprinkle receives a call from Maurice's daughter Sherry. Hearing the news that his mentor Maurice had passed away earlier in the day, Rich ends the concert with a passionate solo performance of "This World is Not My Home."
    Kathy Sprinkle, tour manager: "I wanted to cancel the show, and he's like 'no, we're going to do the show.' And he was a mess. And he was a mess for quite some time."
    James Brian Smith, Biographer: "And that led him to make a decision of 'what's the next phase of my life going to be?' and he was very passionate about the plight of Native Americans and especially children. He wanted to teach music."

    November 5, 1988

  • Rich Mullins performs for Project Orphanage at Day Spring Church of God in Forest Park, OH as part of the "Awesome God" Tour.

    November 7, 1988

  • "The Other Side of the World" debuts on the AC Charts. It would spend 14 weeks on the chart and peak at #5.

    November 10, 1988


  • Rich Mullins performs at Hatheway Hall at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey, IL at 8:00 p.m. as part of the "Awesome God" Tour

    November 13, 1988

  • Rich Mullins performs concert at Knoname Theater North Park College in Chicago, IL as part of the "Awesome God" Tour.

    November 19, 1988

  • Rich Mullins sings at the wedding of friend Sherri Howard and Shannon McCready. Sherri is the daughter of Maurice Howard. Rich performed "Bound to Come Some Trouble."


    (Beaker and Rich Mullins at Notre Dame)

    November 23, 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at Whitewater Christian Church in Richmond, IN at 7:30 p.m. as part of the "Awesome God" Tour

    November 24, 1988

  • Rich Mullins and his family celebrated the 40th wedding anniversary for their parents, John and Neva Mullins. At the suggestion of his sister Sharon, Rich wrote a song "First Family" in honor of his parents and played the song for them at their wedding anniversary. After hearing the son, John Mullins reportedly said to his wife "Why does he have me out cussing in the barn while he has you making gourmet meals?" Neva replied to him, "Well, honey, he just wrote what he remembered!"

    November ? 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform at Great Lakes Bible College in Lansing, MI as part of the "Awesome God" Tour.

    December ? 1988

  • Rich Mullins and Band perform in Grand Rapids, MI as part of the "Awesome God" Tour.

    December 9, 1988
  • Rich Mullins performs at First Christian Church in in Clearwater, FL. at 7:30 p.m. as part of the "Awesome God" Tour

    December 1988
  • Rich Mullins attends a party at Reunion Records in Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate his song "Awesome God" reaching #1 on the AC chart. He then returned to his new home in Wichita, Kansas.

    Fall/Winter 1988/1989

  • Calendar Magazine includes a short article on Rich.
    "Awed By God"


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