<timeline 1996>

TimeLine : 1996

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




    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    1996

  • Jordan Richter begins running sound for Rich's tours this year. A year later, he would play guitar in Rich's touring band and open shows as part of This Train.

  • A very, very early rough version of this website appears online under the name "The Audiori Archives." The website includes articles and short timelines about various artists including Rich Mullins, and Daniel Amos (which eventually expanded into the band's official website.) The name "Audiori" is an obscure reference to another artist featured on the website, Mark Heard, who sometimes used the pseudonym of "Giovanni Audiori."

    January/February 1996

  • Release Magazine publishes an article by Rich Mullins.
    "Joking Matters"

    January 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Kathy Troccoli, Mark Lowry and Max Lucado join Sandi Patty on her annual Fellowship Cruise. While taking a bus tour on the Caribbean island of St. Maartens, Rich, Mark Lowry and two other friends left the bus tour to ride scooters around the island.
    Mark Lowry: "My most memorable time with Rich was on a Sandi Patty cruise. Sandi had invited Kathy Troccoli, Rich Mullins, Max Lucado and me. I talked Rich and two of our friends into going scooter riding when we got to St. Maartens. When we arrived, the four of us grabbed a taxi and I told the driver to take us to a scooter-rental company. We talked all the way and nobody paid attention as to how we got to this particular scooter company.

    We jumped out of the cab, threw down a credit card and took off on the scooters. We only had a few hours in St. Maartens so we had to do all of this quickly. When it came time to return the scooters and head back to the ship, we couldn't find the scooter company! We looked at the map we'd been given. It made no sense. We circled the island several times. We stopped and asked directions from people who couldn't help us. We were totally, absolutely, hopelessly lost. We should have just gone back to the ship, given the keys to someone and asked them to return the scooters for us. Or, called the owner and told him where we'd left them. It would have been cheaper than what happened. We missed the ship...which was at sea the next day headed for Nassau. We had to spend the night in St. Maartens, fly to San Juan and spend the night, then fly to Miami to catch another flight to Nassau to meet the ship. None of us had a change of clothing...we didn't expect to miss the ship in the first place. Nobody had their passports...they were back on the ship with our clothes. No toothbrush. No shampoo. No clean underwear. Nothing but the clothes on our backs.

    I had to smooth-talk our way in and out of customs...leaving San Juan, entering the U.S., leaving the U.S., and entering The Bahamas. How did I do? Fine, thank you. I got us all to the ship. I was embarassed, though. I am rarely late to anything, much less miss it all together. Sandi forgave us.

    Stuff like that happened to Rich all the time. He'd be half-way around the world when he'd realize he didn't have his passport. He was always losing his car keys or locking them in the car. He really was an absent-minded genius." (Source: Mark Lowry, October 2, 1997)

  • Rich Mullins performs at a small event in Austin, TX. Following the concert, Rich spent the day in San Antonio with his college friend, Kenneth R. Craycraft, Jr. an Associate Professor at St. Mary’s University.
    Kenneth Craycraft, Jr: "We spent a delightful several hours at my house, where he played some of my and my children's favorite songs on our piano. And of course, we talked about his continuing journey of faith."

    February 11, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs a concert and participates in the "True Love Waits – Thru the Roof" rally at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. This rally was part of Atlanta '96 Youth Leaders Conference, which gathered about 8,000 Christian youth leaders representing 125 denominations and youth organizations from 20 countries. The rally also featured performances by Michael W. Smith, DC Talk and the Newsboys. As part of the program, Rich gave a talk at a Native Youth Leaders Gathering, hosted by Christ For Native Youth, with the National Network of Youth Ministries. Rich’s talk was recorded.

    February 12, 1996

  • "Damascus Road" debuts on the AC Charts. It would spend 13 weeks on the chart and peak at #21.

    February 15, 1996

  • Rich's good friends, James Bryan Smith and Meghan Smith give birth to a baby girl, Madeline Penelope Smith, who was born with severe birth defects. Rich was devasted. Rich would later write the unreleased "Madeline's Song," inspired by young Madeline Smith. The song became a fan favorite during Rich's 1997 tour.

    February 29, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs in Mobile, AL


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    March 1, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at the Christian Center in Kalispell, Montana at 7:30 p.m.

  • The Missoulian in Missoula, Montana runs a short interview with Rich's manager Gay Quisenberry.
    Gay, on traveling with Rich to underdeveloped countries: "They encourage you more than you can encourage them. Many of Rich's songs have been inspired by these tours, such as 'Peace' from his Liturgy, A Legacy and a Ragamuffin Band album. This ties in perfectly to what life is like down there."
    Gay, on Rich teaching at two Navajo Schools: "Rich is as good a teacher as he is a song writer."
    Gay, on the upcoming Best of album: "This album is designed for people who have worn out their 1988 Winds of Heaven... Stuff of Earth album."

    March 3, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at at Shadle Park High School in Spokane, WA at 7:00 p.m.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    March 4, 1996

  • Third Day releases its first self-titled album on Reunion Records. Rich Plays Hammer Dulcimer on "Praise Song."

    March 11, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs in La Mirada, CA

    March 11-14, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs multiple shows at Biola University in La Marida, CA .

    March 1996

  • Lou Carlozo, a writer for The Chicago Tribune, stays with Rich and Mitch in their trailer in Tse Bonito, NM. An article is written which would be published in the Tribune in April ("Christian Rocker Finds New Life in the Desert")


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)
  • Rich Mullins travels to Ireland for one week in order to photograph Rich for the cover of his greatest hits album, Songs.
    Ben Pearson: "Late one night in Dublin, Ireland, Rich and I were discussing music. Rich offered up his current list of faves which included new and wonderful renditions of Samuel Barber, Copland, and Vaughan Williams. I on the other hand, said I was currently existing on a steady diet of Smashing Pumpkins. To which he replied, 'I just don't get that stuff!' I responded, 'Quite frankly Rich, I guess I kind of use it as a drug. I mean, I'm 39 years old, and at times I feel more angry now, as a Christian, then when I was 18 and living without Christ.' Richard paused for a brief moment and quietly said, 'You'll grow out of it.' Since that night I've thought many times about what Rich said to me. I also remember catching glimpses of an almost visible tranquility, that for brief moments seem to quietly surround him."

    Spring 1996


    Rich and Mitch's Navajo-style hogans
  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker begin building two traditional Navajo eight-sided hogans across the street from the reservation. They worked on the hogans Monday through Thursday. Then, on Thursday nights they would drive to the airport in Albuquerque and fly to the next city for weekend concerts, and return to Tse Bonito on Sunday evenings. Mitch McVicker later recalled that it took them nine months to complete Rich's hogan because "We didn’t know what we were doing." He stated that they then completed Mitch's hogan. According to Mitch, Rich lived in his hogan for about two months, and they finished Mitch's hogan and he lived in it for three days before they left on tour in June 1996.

    March/April 1996

  • Release Magazine publishes an article by Rich Mullins.
    "Never Alone"

    April 1996

  • Rich is nominated in two categories for the 1996 Dove Awards, Songwriter of the Year & Song of the Year ("Creed".)


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    Spring or Summer 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker meet Eric Hauck and Alex Dirksen at a gas station in Gallop, NM. Rich and Mitch were on a tour of the Navajo Reservation with Compassion USA. Eric had been accepted at the University of Cincinnati Medical School and he and his friend Alex Dirkson were traveling around the country on his motorcycle with the intention of seeing all 48 states before Eric entered medical school in the fall of 1997. Eric and Alex had just been to the Grand Canyon, but a freak snowstorm had kept them from seeing it, so they had returned to Gallup. They were refueling their motorcycles when Eric recognized Rich from photos he had seen and they began to talk. Eric had grown up playing music and is a very gifted cellist and guitarist, but Rich did not know this. Rich asked Erick and Alex if they would help him build a Navajo hogan and offered to give them free food if they did so. They had little money and agreed to work for him for a week. During that week, Rich found out that Eric played the cello and he invited him to travel with his band and join the Kid Brothers of St. Frank. Although Eric was musically gifted, he had no plans to perform professionally and he planned to become a physician. He told Rich "No," because he and Alex still had 15 more states to visit and so they left and continued their motorcycle tour of the country. However, Eric continued to pray about Rich's invitation and realized that God was calling him to join Rich and tour with him, so he contacted Rich and agreed to join the Kid Brothers of St. Frank (much to his father's chagrin). Eric had been a member of the College Hill Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, OH.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    April 1, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform ont he South Mall at the University of Texas in Austin, TX as part of "Resurrection Week."

    April 2, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.

    April 3, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs in Dallas, TX.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    April 5, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at the Texas Hispanic Baptist Youth Congress "Congresso '96" in Lubbock, TX.

    April 1996

  • Rich Mullins appeared on the TV program Rich Mullins on At the Stage Door and was interviewed by Garry McSpadden.

    April 19, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at the Finnegan Fieldhouse at Franciscan University in Stubenville, OH at 8:00 p.m.

    April 20, 1996


    (Photo by Ruth Stultz Lowell)
  • Rich Mullins performs at Ichthus Festival '96 in Wilmore, KY .

  • While at the festival, Rich gives a video interview. The interviewer is off microphone, so only Rich's answers are available.
    CHMV Interview
    Mullins Battles Glitches (Concert Review)

    April 21-25, 1996

  • Rich Mullins participates in GMA week in Nashville, TN with other CCM musicians.

  • While in Nashville for GMA week, Rich spends some time in Nashville recording new tracks for a planned "Greatest Hits" project. (That project would eventually become Songs)

  • Rich is also interviewed for the LightHouse Electronic Magazine while in Nashville. ("Lighthouse Interview 1996")

  • During GMA Week, Reed Arvin is a panel member fo the Vital Issues Symposium discussing the topic "Christian Celebrities: The Dilemma of Balancing Fame and Mistry."

    April 21 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs "Awesome God" at the Sunday night service at the Ryman Auditorium as part of GMA Week.
    Russ Lee: "Just a quick note on the happenings in Nashville last week. The first item of note was at the Sunday night worship service. Rich played 'Awesome God' and got a very long standing ovation. He seemed sort of embarrassed at the sustained applause he received. The place came off its hinges. If ever there was a unified moment in worship that was it. It was customary for us to kick off the week with a Sunday night worship service at the Ryman Auditorium, Amy Grant was there. And Michael W. Smith was leading this worship service.

    Probably the second year I did that, with other artists and with Michael W. Smith leading. The second year that I did that, about halfway through the night, as a surprise to us, we didn’t know it was going to happen but Rich Mullins comes walking out on stage. And he’s barefoot, and he's got holes in his jeans before it was cool. He's wearing a shirt that looks like he slept in it, which was his normal look. You know, he just, he was not, he was very non-pretentious. And he walked out on stage and he looked at us and waved and he looked at the crowd and smiled and he sat down at the piano and started singing 'Awesome God.' And the place came off the hinges actually. It just came unhinged. It was a God moment. But I'll never forget that because he led Awesome God and it was the loudest song of the night. Everyone, the Ryman Auditorium was packed, the artists were all... if ever there was a unified moment of worship in CCM music, for me, that was it. It was remarkable.

    And he led that song and we sang that chorus a few times at the end. People... a few people applauded, but most of us were just kind of awestruck, not because of Rich but because of how God was using that song that night, you know. And he stood up, and he pointed to the sky, and he looked back at us and he put his hands together and he kind of bowed as a thank you to us and waved to everybody and then he looked at audience and he waved goodbye and he walked right off the stage.

    I'll never forget that night... I had done some festivals with him over the years but I had never been in a in a moment just like that where he and I were sharing the stage. But I realized it really wasn't about him at all.

    He was dripping humility. And there was so much beauty in his just gentle, simple brokenness and his worship and he just sang that song and we all worshiped together. And then as quickly as the moment started, it was over. And it was kind of hard to go on after that, frankly. We were kind of in one of those moments where you're awestruck. We were just kind of awestruck, not by him, but by the heavy, thick as an old evangelist would say, the presence of God. In that, in the Ryman Auditorium, you know. And I was so blown away by it. It made such an impression. And to be honest, it kind of set the precedent for the entire week. It became a week of ministry. You know, GMA can be a week where everybody kind of tries hard to not brag on themselves but to tell you what they are doing in such an exciting way that you are interested. It just kind of set the precedent for the whole week. And everybody was talking about it. All the artists were. We were all talking about it. It had the same effect on all of us. And without trying to, Rich Mullins taught us all a lesson that night, about what’s important, ah, when it comes to music that is supposed to be God honoring. It was a stirring, very impressive night."

    Lindsay Terry: "The year was 1996, and the scene was the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. A great crowd had gathered for the opening of the Gospel Music Association's annual convention. The performers were in their best apparel, and this was to be an evening of the finest of the worship songs. Each person on the program presented his or her musical offering accompanied by beautiful lighting and orchestra accompaniment with all of the bells and whistles at their disposal.

    After several performances, the lights were dimmed, and a man walked quietly onto the stage and took his place at the piano. A choir stood behind him dressed in matching outfits. As the lights were going up, Rich Mullins, began to play - some thought somewhat prematurely. He was dressed in scruffy jeans and a flannel shirt and was unshaven. He scarcely looked up from the piano. He was presenting his signature song, Awesome God. The music ceased; the lights went down, and Rich Mullins slipped away - out of the building. Such was the man." (Source: The St. Augustine Record, August 21, 2015)

  • Later that evening, Rich Mullins performs the song "If I Stand" at the Songwriter's Showcase. He prefaced his performance by telling the audience if he has to explain what the song is about, it must not be a very good song.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    April 24 1996

  • Numerous artists perform at a tribute concert for Rich at Cafe Milano in Nashville, TN. in honor of the release of Songs.
    This Train ("Somewhere"), Kevin Smith ("If I Stand"), Rick Elias ("Growing Young"), Jimmy A ("A Place to Stand"), Phil Keaggy ("Hold Me Jesus"), Carolyn Arends ("Jacob and 2 Women"), Third Day ("Creed") & Ashley Cleveland ("I See You"). Speakers included Terry Hemmings, Reed Arvin, Jon Rivers, & Brennan Manning. Rich ended the night by performing "We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are".
    Phil Keaggy: "We had all learned one of his songs, and he was sitting in the middle of the room looking like a kid at Christmas, just enjoying hearing the expressions of the artists. He didn't seem overly embarassed or preocupied with all of the attention that was on him. He just took it all in with that big, honest smile."

    Carolyn Arends: "In 1996, in celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Rich's first record release, a group of his musical friends surprised him with a tribute concert. While he sat in the audience, grinning his impish grin, we each performed one of his songs. I had toured with him the year before, and knew him well enough to call him 'friend,' but I was also enough of a fan to be exceedingly nervous. On the program, I was sandwiched between two brilliant finger-style guitarists – Wes King and Phil Keaggy. My fingers felt like blocks of cement on the strings of my guitar.

    I performed 'Jacob and 2 Women' – the song from which the album The World as Best as I Remember It is titled. The lyrics are pure poetry. They disarm you with clever charm and whimsical humor, and then sucker-punch you with aching sadness. After the concert, Rich rewarded me with a bear hug and said, 'I never realized how sad that song is until I heard you sing it. I always just thought it was funny.'

    I am not sure if Rich hadn't been consciously aware of the pathos in that song, but his reaction (and the song itself) is emblematic for me of the way an infectious playfulness and a deep sadness co-existed in him, often at the same time. It also reminds me how much Rich delighted in other people. He so relished the creativity of his friends that he received our versions of his songs as revelations. That generosity and open-handedness was part of the reason he tended to become a hub of community wherever he went. Laughter, sadness, and a great capacity to celebrate others—that was Rich, as best as I can remember him."

    Tai Anderson (Third Day): "In April 1996, Third Day had the incredible privilege of performing at a Rich Mullins tribute concert in Nashville (honoring the release of Rich's best of album, Songs). That night we were more nervous then we have ever been for any concert in our career. As we took the stage, the entire audience disappeared except for one man, Rich Mullins, who was looking at us quite curiously. When we started playing 'Creed,' I experienced something which I had never felt before or since: a passion for music, a passion for humanity, but mostly, a passion for God. That was Rich's gift. His songs have images of green pastures, of starry nights, of children at play, and people in love. But as you listen, the pictures in your mind are always transformed to the face of Jesus."

    April 25, 1996

  • Rich Mullins attends the GMA Dove Awards in Nashville, TN.

  • The Chicago Tribune runs an article on Rich Mullins.
    "Christian Rocker Finds New Life in the Desert"

    April 26, 1996

  • Rich Mullins' performance at the Ichthus Festival '96 in Wilmore, KY is reviewed by the Asbury College student newspaper.
    Mullins Battles Glitches

    April 26-27 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker visit the Little Portion Hermitage in Berryville, AR and attended the first meeting of the Catholic Association of Musicians, founded by John Michael Talbot. Rich had been invited to John Michael's hermitage by a mutual friend - Stephen Connolly (co manager of Kathy Troccolli at that time). Rich drove 10 hours from Nashville, Tennessee, after the GMA Awards, to attend the meeting.
    Fr. Simon: "When Rich came to the Little Portion Hermitage, he came with a group of people. And that group of people, along with Rich, was interested in a radical community lifestyle. And they found that within Franciscanism and in some of the Christian monastic heritage. And they wanted to live that in today's world in a contemporary way." (Source: Homeless Man documentary)

    Mike Zabrocki: "I remember Viola Talbot - John Michael's wife coming up to me. She said there was someone here at the reception who 'appeared a bit disheveled' and some folks were concerned. I think Viola approached me as I was this guy from New York City with long hair and a leather jacket and if this 'guy' was trouble, I could handle it! LOL. I asked Viola to point him out and it was - of course - Rich Mullins. Jokingly I replied to Viola, 'Do you want me to throw Rich Mullins out?' and she - very excitedly screamed 'That's Rich Mullins? John! John! Rich Mullins is here!' Rich and I had a good laugh about that! I learned Rich was interested in John Michael's community - The Brothers and Sisters of Charity. I assume he was already unofficially founding his 'Kid Brothers of St. Frank' by this time." (Sourece: correspondence with Therese Klopfenstein November 8, 2022)

    Mike Zabrocki: "The last night of this first meeting of CAM we performed in a concert at a local church St. Elizabeth, in in Eureka Springs Arkansas. John Michael was the MC introducing the individual artists that traveled in for this meeting. Many were extremely talented but some were simply awful. I feel bad saying that but this was not their calling. Since my last name is Zabrocki and we went in alphabetical order, I had the honor of closing the concert. This also gave me the opportunity to walk around and listen to the other acts. Here's where Rich touched my heart without saying a word. No one knew he was in attendance. He took a seat in the very last row... He was such a gentle, humble spirit. Rich sat in the back - was unshaven of course - and smiled throughout! .. When someone was singing that was - well - badly - Rich was not rolling his eyes or walking out. He wasn't hearing their voice - he was hearing their heart. His eyes closed and he was silently praising God - smiling that Rich smile from ear to ear. He filled all with peace and joy that night without doing anything! He is where we all want to be. That really impacted me and how I not only minister to this day - but how I look at my fellow music ministers. May Christ give his family, friends peace and knowledge of His resurrection.." (Sourece: correspondence with Therese Klopfenstein November 8, 2022)

    April 1996

  • The Lighthouse Electronic Magazine (Light 99 FM in Wichita) publishes an interview with Rich Mullins.
    "Lighthouse Interview 1996"

    May 3, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs at Willingdon Mennonite Brethren Church in Burnaby, BC Canada.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    May 3, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs at the Willingdon Mennonite Brethren Church in Burnaby, BC, Canada.

    May 4, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs at the Willingdon Mennonite Brethren Church in Burnaby, BC, Canada.

    May 11, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs at the Agape Music Festival in Greenville, IL. Rich also led a seminar entitled "Music Ministry of Today".
    Set List (Partial): Hallelujah/Creed/Calling Out Your Name/Brother's Keeper/Sometimes By Step/Invention In A Minor/Ready For The Storm/Awesome God


    May 18, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at Bellingham High School Auditorium in Bellingham, WA at 7:30 p.m. Rich reportedly asked the crowd, "Are there any songs other than 'Awesome God' that you want to hear?"
    Set List: Sing Your Praise to the Lord/Here in America/Screen Door/I Will Sing/Hope to Carry On/Where You Are/Creed/Calling Out Your Name/Let Mercy Lead/Bound to Come Some Trouble/I'm gonna Sing, Sing, Sing/Swing Low, Sweet Chariot/Ih When the Saints Go Marching In/Step By Step/Mandolin Duet/Brothers Keeper/Ready for the Storm/Peace/If I Stand/Awesome God/It Is Well With My Soul/Doxology/Elijah


    May 1996

  • Rich Mullins begins recording The Canticle off the Plains at Rosewell East Recording studio in Elgin, IL. The album was completed in the fall of 1996. For the next three months, when they were not traveling or on tour, Rich and Mitch stayed in an apartment on the campus of Judson College in Elgin, Illinois, next to Dean of the Chapel, Dr. Warren Anderson and his family. Rich's manager, Gay Quisenberry lived in Elgin and made arrangements with Dr. Warren Anderson for Rich and Mitch to live on campus for the summer while they recorded their album. Dr. Warren Anderson was the director of the Judson College chapel ministry, as well as a freelance writer. He had previously interviewed Rich for two articles in CCM Magazine in 1989 and 1992.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    June 1996

  • Release Magazine publishes an article by Rich Mullins.
    "Momentary Pleasures"

    June 6, 1996

  • Jon Rivers and the morning crew of KLTY plays a new song from Rich's upcoming "Greatest Hits" project ">Songs, the newly recorded version of "Sing Your Praise to the Lord." Jon was not supposed to play the track so early before the CD is released, but couldn't wait.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    June 25, 1996





  • Reunion Records releases a "best of" collection entitled Songs. The collection includes brand new recordings of "Praise to the Lord," "We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are," and new version of "Elijah." This CD also marks the first official release of the extended single version of "Screen Door." In 2001, Songs was certified as a Gold record (500,000 units sold) by the RIAA.
    Album Reviews
    Rich: "I think the 'best of' idea is really silly, because I've never put a song on an album that I didn't think was my best one. Everyone asks, 'Do you have a favorite?' Well, whatever song I'm working on at the moment is my favorite. But, the criteria we decided to go with for selecting songs for the album was just what songs have done really well on the radio, because that's some indication of how people have responded to a song; but that's certainly not the only indication. If I was going to do an album of my own favorites, there would probably only be a few songs off of this album that would make it.
    Rich, on "We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are" (which was written for Brothers Keeper, but not recorded until earlier this year): "Everyone else was having babies, you know, and so, I helped co-write songs for people who had kids. They had to fill in most of the information and I just used my imagination. I got tired of that, so I decided to write something I knew something about. I'm always worried though about doing it in front of people because of all the Focus on the Family stuff. But even in good families you break up sometimes, and I don't think it has to be looked at as a happy thing - that's why we try to avoid at as much as possible because it is an unhappy occurrence."
    Rich, on "We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are": "It's a break-up song. I don't know anyone who hasn't gone through the experience of a friendship or romance that ended on a sour note. The song tries to look at that honestly."


    June 27, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and the Ragamuffin Band perform at Creation '96 at Hershey Park Stadium and Arena in Mount Union, PA. The concert was originally scheduled to be held at Agape Farm in Mount Union, Pennsylvania, but flooding had cancelled the festival in 1995 and forced the relocation in 1996. Other performers include Julie Miller, Randy Stonehill, The Choir, Steve Taylor, Sixpence None the Richer and others.
  • Salem Radio Network Interviews Rich Mullins a the Festival.
    "Creation Festival Interview 1996"
    "Creation Festival Message to the Media 1996"

    June 29, 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker and the Ragamuffin Band (Rick Elias, Jimmy Abegg and Mark Robertson) leave the United States for a short tour in Europe.
    Steve Stockman: "He gave a seminar about everything and nothing in particular that was just superb. Again it is one of the sins of our day that it wasn't taped and the thing that stands out most for me was his story about The Red Hot Chilli Peppers thanking Satan for their Grammy award. Rich said that that was more honest than those who thanked Jesus for their Dove Awards because the devil was more interested in winning awards than Jesus was. Again, a nod towards that most crucial of all kingdom values - the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Of course, then there was the gig. A typically laid back Ragamuffins jam come party with a couple of thousand of us invited to watch. Again it was funny, provoking, entertaining and brilliant." (Source: Rich Mullins, 78 Eaton Wood Green & Us, September 18, 2012)

    June 30, 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker and the Ragamuffin Band perform at Fosford Forest Park, County Armagh, Northern Ireland as part of the Northern Ireland Summer Madness Christian Festival.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    July 6, 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker and the Ragamuffin Band perform in Northern Ireland.

    July 8, 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker and the Ragamuffin Band perform in Coleraine, Co. Londonberry, Northtern Ireland.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    July 13, 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker and the Ragamuffin Band perform at Horsham Park in Horsham, Englad. The band included Mitch McVicker, Rick Elias, Jimmy Abegg, and Mark Robertson.
    Set List: 78 Eatonwood Green/Calling Out Your Name/Freedom (Mitch McVicker)/Let Mercy Lead/Streets of Rome (Rick Elias)/Brother's Keeper/Perfect World (Jimmy A)/Boy Like Me Man Like You/Hold Me Jesus/Monstertruck (Mark Robertson)/Ready for the Storm/Creed/Jesus Loves Me (Hammered Dulcimer Instrumental)

    July 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker and the Ragamuffin Band traveled from to Northern Ireland to Stranraer, Scotland and then to Glasgow, Scotland, where they performed concerts in Glasgow with Sammy Horner and his band the Electrics.
    Sammy Horner: "Just before the band arrived from their Irish trip, I had just bought a pair of brand new boots...a real bargain...reduced from £75 down to £20. Black leather Pumas and I loved 'em. A day or two later a few of us made the 200 mile round trip to Stranraer to pick the guys up...Rich and Rick Elias travelled with me, and I couldn't help noticing Rich's shoes...paint splattered canvas shoes...truly horrid. It turned out that a dog had eaten his only pair of shoes and someone had given him these in the meantime. Straight after our time in Scotland, Rich and the boys were heading off to one CR festival, and so, I suggested that these canvas shoes would simply not do...(knowing the weather at the previous festivals...) and that I had several pairs of boots that the man was welcome to. After arriving at our destination, I removed my boots (to save the pink carpet from muddy stains) and went to the kitchen to make some coffee. As I came out of the kitchen, I noticed Rich was wearing my brand new boots... "These fit great," he said, and I hadn't the heart to tell him that these were my favourite, brand new boots. About 150 people came to the gig, we lost money, but it was one of those fantastic evenings that you wished more people had come to. No complaints from the Ragamuffins, but I can remember feeling, 'How come I break my neck to bring this great band, charge less than the average club gig, pay for travel, meals, venue, PA, lights and even with Word Record's help, we still lose money, and on top of all that I even lose my boots!' Next day, we said our goodbyes at the airport, Rich was funny and looked embarrassed as he was even recognised in Glasgow Airport by a bunch of American teenagers on holiday. As they walked towards the boarding gates, it was obvious that we all had a great time in Scotland and that it had all been worth the hassle, and so I watched as Rich Mullins, his band and my boots flew off together. It was July '97 when we met up again...he asked me to go swimming with him at Cornerstone Festival in Illinois...and I had to ask about the boots... ‘They belong to some kid on the Rez now’ he said.” " (Source: Homeless Man)

    July 15, 1996

  • "Sing Your Praise to the Lord" debuts on the AC Charts. It would spend 12 weeks on the chart and peak at #8.

    July 17, 1996

  • The Tallahassee Democrat in Tallahassee, FL publishes a short review of Rich's Songs.
    Album Reviews

    July 18, 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker and the Ragamuffin Band return to the U.S. from Ireland.

    July 19, 1996

  • The Boca Raton News in Boca Raton, FL publishes a short review of Rich's Songs.
    Album Reviews

    July 24, 1996

  • Rich Mullins returns home to Tse Bonito, New Mexico.

    July 27, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and the Ragamuffin Band and This Train perform a concert at Rez Fest at the University of New Mexico, Johnson Field, Albuquerque, NM at 4:00 p.m. Rez Fest was produced by Christ for Native Youth of Window Rock, AZ as part of its Native American Christian Youth Conference at the University of New Mexico.

    July/August 1996

  • Release Magazine publishes an article by Rich Mullins.
    "Growing Still"


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    August 1996

  • Charisma & Christian Life review Songs.
    Album Reviews

    August 10, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at WorldFest 2 at the New World Music Theatre in Tinley Park, IL. Mitch McVicker performed the new song "Heaven is Waiting," from the upcoming Canticle of the Plains project. Rich also made a surprise appearance with Third Day when they performed his song "Creed."

    August 24, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and the Ragamuffin Band perform at Wausau East High School in Wausau, WI at 7:30 p.m. Reportedly, the airline had lost his luggage and he was playing on a borrowed dulcimer.

    September 1, 1996

  • Rich's dog and frequent touring partner Bear dies of old age at the home of Kathy Sprinkle in Wichita, KS. Bear had a canine version of epilepsy which he struggled with in the last few years.

    September 1996

  • During one Friday chapel service at what is now Judson University, Dean of the Chapel Warren Anderson announced that there would be a very special guest in Monday's chapel service and nobody would want to miss it. A rumor spread that Bob Dole, who would be going head to head against Bill Clinton in the upcoming Presidental Election, was probably coming to campus. When everybody crowded into Herrick Chapel the next Monday morning, the secret was revealed. The promised guest was not a politician but Rich Mullins. Little did they know that Mullins had been living on the campus for the preceding three months while he recorded his next album in an Elgin studio.

    September 14, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at a Youth Leaders event at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Curry, AL at 7:00 p.m. Rich mentions the musical that he and Beaker had just finished. Songs performed include "Sing Your Praise to the Lord" and "Invention in A Minor."

  • 20 the Countdown Magazine (KLTY-FM 94.1 in Dallas Fort Worth, TX) runs a short interview segment with Rich being interviewed by Jon Rivers.
    Jon Rivers: As 20 The Countdown Magazine celebrates ten years of musical memories, one artist who's been there all along has been a man who's given us more than just great music. He's given us music to make us think. Rich Mullins is a poet, a philosopher, a fisher of men, a Ragamuffin - you name it, over the years, he's manage to pull all those titles into that of songwriter. And one of those songs that has made a strong impact on our culture is the one you probably sang in church maybe last week - "Awesome God."

    Rich: Well, I think for me - what you, as a writer, eventually have to come to acknowledge is that your responsibility is to say as clearly as you can what you have to say, and what people do with that, you have no say over. So if someone wants to think of God as being awesome in the California sense of the word - that He's really cool - there's nothing I can do about that. I'm sorry that people sometimes have forgotten that God, who is awesome, is a God, who not only do we love, and a God who loves us very deeply, but also a God who we really do owe reverence and fear to. I think when I was younger I used to think I was responsible for a lot of stuff that I'm realizing now I'm not really responsible for. In so many interviews I've been asked to talk about how I wrote "Awesome God", and after I wrote it I was real nervous about even talking about it, because I was kinda going, 'Wow, everybody thinks that it was some real spiritually heavy moment.' It's so dissapointing when you find out that I wrote the song 'cause I was trying to stay awake while I was driving."

    I think that especially Evangelical Christians here at the end of the 20th century really thrive on the sensational, and they think that something is spiritually vital if it's earth shaking, and if the hair raises on the back of your arm - that sort of thing. That's one reason I'm so thankful for my parents, because my parents pretty much believed that all work was holy, and that all love was holy, and that your life was either lived in a God-word direction or it was lived in a direction facing away from God, and that there are no big and little miracles - that life itself is a terrific miracle. So if you're just doing your job, you're not just doing your job, you're doing something holy, and you're doing something that is part of what makes you a human being, and I think God's greatest will for us is that we should be human beings. Because I think humans are the image of God, and when we live a fully human life, I think God looks at us and sees Himself, and says, 'Wow, I did do a good job.'

    Jon Rivers: One man. And when he speaks, I listen. Rich Mullins, never at a loss for words, and never at a loss for powerful words. Another classic Rich Mullins song makes it's home at number three this week. God did a good job through His servant Mr. Mullins, don't you think? "Sing Your Praise to the Lord", from the guy who brung it - on 20 The Countdown Magazine.

    September 1996

  • Rich Mullins (possibly in town visiting Beaker & family) runs into radio broadcaster Bob Michaels, of Light 99 in the airport in Atlanta, GA, on his way home to New Mexico. Rich told Bob that he was working on putting the finishing touches on his musical Canticle of the Plains.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    September 20, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at Midland Center for the Arts in Midland, MI.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    September 21, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at Rediger Auditorium at Taylor University in Upland, IN.
    Concert Transcript
    Set List: I Will Sing/Hope To Carry On/Ready For The Storm/Where You Are/Screen Door/We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are/Sing Your Praise To The Lord/Brothers Keeper/Let Mercy Lead/78 Eatonwood Green/Calling Out Your Name/Jesus Loves Me (Instrumental)/{Mandolin Bach Duet with Mitch)/Boy Like Me, Man Like You/If I Stand/Creed/Awesome God/Sometimes By Step

    September/October 1996

  • Release Magazine publishes articles by Rich Mullins and Reed Arvin.
    "The Communion Of The Saints"
    "Poet Cornered by Reed Arvin"


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    October 11, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform in Springfield, MO.

    October 12, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at Flint Hills Christian Church in Emporia, KS at 7:30 p.m.
    Set List: Praise ye the Lord/I'm gonna sing, sing, sing/Hope To Carry On/Ready for the storm/Brother's Keeper/Sing Your Praise to the Lord/If I Stand/Heaven is Waiting (Mitch)/Change this World (Mitch)/Love Lives There (Mitch)/Only His Love Will (Mitch)/Calling Out Your Name/Creed/Invention in A minor (J.S. Bach, from "Fifteen two-part inventions", Mitch and Rich on mandolins)/Let Mercy Lead/We Are Not As Strong/Screen Door/Bound To Come Some Trouble/Boy Like Me, Man Like You/Awesome God/Step By Step/My Jesus I Love Thee/It Is Well With My Soul/Wonderful Grace of Jesus/O Lord, Our Lord/Lord, I Lift Your Name on High/Doxology


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    October 21, 1996

  • Rich Mullins celebrates his 41st birthday with numerous friends in Chicago, IL. During the celebration activities, Rich performs the song "New Mexico," which he had just written for Mitch McVicker's first album.

    October 25, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at the First Assembly of God in Gainesville, FL. Songs included "Hold Me Jesus," "Ready for the Storm" and "Sometimes By Step."

    October 26, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform a free concert at Cathedral Square (across Claiborne Street from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception) in Mobile, AL at 8:30 p.m. The concert was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Mobile. Songs performed included "Ready for the Storm" "Sometimes By Step," "The Color Green" and "Lord I Lift Your Name On High"

    October 31, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at the Classic Center Theater in Athens, GA .
    Set List: Hallelujah/I'm Gonna Sing Sing Sing/Creed/Calling Out Your Name/78 Eatonwood Green/I Will Sing/Hope to Carry On/Where You Are/Let Mercy Lead/Sing Your Praise to the Lord/We Are Not As Strong as We Think We Are/The Love Of God/Ready for the Storm/Brother's Keeper/Invention in A Minor (Mandolin Duet)/Screen Door/Hold Me Jesus/Awesome God/Sometimes By Step/My Jesus I Love Thee/It Is Well With My Soul/Lord I Lift Your Name On High


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    Fall 1996

  • After his application to teach at Hilltop Christian School was rejected due to conflicts with the Fundamentalist school administration and Rich's ever increasingly Catholic-influenced beliefs, he began establishing after-school music programs for children while living on a Native American Reservation in New Mexico.

    November 1, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at the First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, FL at 7:30 p.m.

  • The Boca Raton News in Boca Raton, FL runs a blurb and photo promoting the concert at the First Baptist Church.
    Rich, on "We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are": "It's a break-up song. I don't know anyone who hasn't gone through the experience of a friendship or romance that ended on a sour note. The song tries to look at that honestly."
    Rich, on "Sing Your Praise to the Lord": "I wrote that song while I was in college in Cincinnati. When Amy (Grant) recorded it, she cut out the middle. So the new version is actually the oldest version."

    November 2, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at the Georgia Mountains Center in Gainesville, GA. According to attendees, Rich spoke during the concert about politics and, after casting aspersions on both liberals and conservatives, he admitted that he didn't know who he would vote for in the upcoming election.
    Set List: Praise Ye The Lord (audience participation)/I'm A Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing (audience participation)/Creed/Jesus Loves Me (Instrumental)/Calling Out Your Name/78 Eatonwood Green/I Will Sing/Hope To Carry On/Where You Are/Let Mercy Lead/Sing Your Praise to the Lord/While the Nations Rage/We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are/Land of My Sojourn/The Love of God/Ready for the Storm/Brothers Keeper/Invention in A minor (J.S. Bach, from "Fifteen two-part inventions", Mitch and Rich on mandolins)/Heaven is Waiting (Mitch)/New Mexico (Mitch)/The lemondade song (Mitch)/If I Stand/Screen Door/Hold Me Jesus/Awesome God/Sometimes by Step/My Jesus I Love Thee/It Is Well with My Soul/Lord I Lift Your Name on High


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    November 4, 1996

  • "We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are" debuts on the AC Charts. It would spend 15 weeks on the chart and peak at #9.

    November 8, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform during a retreat at Community Bible Church in Tse Bonito, New Mexico. This also marked the first time Mitch McVicker performed a solo concert. Eric Hauk performed as well.

    November 9, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform during a retreat at Community Bible Church in Tse Bonito, New Mexico.

    November 10, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform during a retreat at Community Bible Church in Tse Bonito, New Mexico.

    November 20, 1996

  • Ragamuffin Rick Elias participates in an AOL Online Chat with fans.

    November 22, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at the Wesley Chapel at Houghton College in Houghton, NY at 7:00 p.m.

    November 23, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker perform at Willoughby Hills Friends Church in Willoughby Hills, OH.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

    November 27-29, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker stay with the Russell Courtney family in Mesa, AZ and worked on The Canticle of the Plains.

    November 28, 1996

  • 20 the Countdown Magazine lists their top 100 songs of the last 10 years. Rich's "Awesome God" came in at #1, "Sometimes by Step" came in at #16, "Hold Me Jesus" came in at #25, "If I Stand" came in at #37 and "Creed" came in at #88.

    November 30, 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker and This Train perform at the chapel at Judson College in Elgin, IL.

    November/December 1996

  • Release Magazine publishes an article by Rich Mullins.
    "Pretty Good Genes"

    December 6, 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker and This Train perform at New Creation Christian Fellowship in Milwaukee, WI. Writers from the Phantom Tollbooth interview Rich after the concert.
    The Phantom Tollbooth Speaks with Rich Mullins

    December 7, 1996

  • Rich Mullins and This Train perform in Elgin, IL at Judson College.

    December 13, 1996

  • Unashamed covers "Awesome God" on their album Reflection released on Tooth and Nail Records.

    December 21, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs at All Saints Catholic Church in Wichita, KS as part of a Christmas Prayer Service and Concert. The event was also part of a Marriage Encounter Christmas program. Songs performed included "Sing Your Praise to the Lord," "Jesus" and "Awesome God."

    December 22, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs Christmas music at a local church.

    December 25, 1996

  • Rich Mullins visits his high school friend, Stephen A. Houk, in the hospital in Indianapolis, IN. Steve was a former member of the New Creations Choir and was a staff pastor and music minister for The Calvary Open Bible Church.
    Elizabeth Houk Mullins: "My brother, Steve Houk, was in New Creations, as well. Steve was in the first group that Richard (as we called him) ever sang in. The group's name was Children of Light and if was an offshoot of the New Creations choir. My dad was one of their bus drivers. Rich and my brother were good friends. Richard went to see my brother in the hospital...it was the last time they saw one another and it was such a blessing to Steve. In fact, Rich was one of the last friends to go see my brother in the hospital, on Christmas Day 1996. My brother, Steve, went to be with Jesus on May 28, 1997, and then Rich followed in September. They were both way too young. I didn't know Richard as a famous singer, I just knew him as a guy who hung around our house." (Rich Mullins Remembered Facebook Page, May 21, 2022)

    December 28, 1996

  • Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker, Rick Elias and Jimmy Abegg perform at a benefit concert at St. John's Lutheran Church in Ellisville, MO at 7:00 p.m.

    December 31, 1996

  • Rich Mullins performs a benefit concert for the National Teen Life program at St. Timothy's Catholic Community in Mesa, AZ at 8:30 p.m. The Canticle of the Plains is also performed.


    (Photo by Ben Pearson.)

All pages = © 1996- Eric Townsend All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce or publish without permission.




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