Singer and songwriter Richard Wayne “Rich” Mullins was best known for his worship song “Awesome God” which has been embraced as modern classics by many Christians. His music has been covered by many artists, including Caedmon’s Call, Five Iron Frenzy, Amy Grant, Carolyn Arends, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, John Tesh, Chris Rice, Rebecca St. James, Hillsong United and Third Day.
His musical career formally began with Zion Ministries in the late 1970s, where he wrote music and performed with a band called Zion. Mullins first solo hit, “Awesome God,” appeared on his third album and brought his music to a wider audience. In the early 1990s, Mullins released a pair of albums that featured more of a stripped-back, acoustic feel than his earlier work, with nods to Irish music. “Step By Step”, a song written by good friend Beaker and included on volume one, was an instant hit and, like “Awesome God”, became a popular praise chorus.
In 1993, Mullins assembled a group of Nashville musicians to record A Liturgy, A Legacy, & A Ragamuffin Band, which was later named the No. 3 best Christian album of all time by CCM Magazine. In 1997 Mullins wrote a musical based on the life of St. Francis of Assisi, entitled The Canticle of the Plains. Mullins’ final release was entitled Jesus Record, which Mullins began recording in 1997 but passed away before its completion. The album was completed as a tribute to Mullins by top Christian artists. Mullins was posthumously awarded Dove Awards for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year in 1999.
Rich Mullins passed away on September 19, 1997, at the age of 41, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.