September 19th marked the tenth anniversary of the tragic death of Rich Mullins, contemporary Christian music writer and modern day monk. Though best known for his worship choruses “Awesome God” and “Step by Step,” Mullins was a versatile and talented musician. His lyrics were usually metaphorically challenging (“Awesome God” an obvious exception) and his instrumentation was eclectic. He introduced the Christian world to the unique sound of the hammered dulcimer, and to Appalachian and Irish folk music.
Also, in stark contrast with the Christian celebrities of his time (and ours), Mullins aggressively avoided the limelight, even to the point of donating much of the profits from his album sales to charity. As the story goes, Mullins trusted others with the financials, while paying himself a “worker’s salary” in the mid-$20 thousands and giving the rest away. In addition to his St. Francis-inspired asceticism, Mullins spent his time teaching music to children on Indian Reservations in the Southwest when not touring.
For those who only know of Rich Mullins because of “Awesome God,” Jason Boyett fills us in.