Being a part of the Bellsburg project has allowed us to meet some amazing people and hear some wonderful stories. One of the Kickstarter backers, Jared Ranum, put us in touch with his close friend Jamie Russell, executive producer for the Relational Grace Podcast. Jamie had told Jared about this unforgettable day in 1995 (he was a senior in high school). It was only 8 weeks after the tragic bombing in downtown Oklahoma City. Jamie’s father was the senior pastor of First United Methodist Church, which was severely damaged in the bombing. The one-and-only Rich Mullins asked the church if he could come minister to the congregation as a surprise visit. This is the 34-minute never-before-seen video footage of that performance.
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The 34-minute video shows Rich in a unique light – leading the congregation in some camp-style singalongs. Plus he shared five original songs, including his most well-known anthem “Awesome God.”
“It’s an incredible joy to share this video and hopefully encourage lives,” stated Jamie Russell, Executive Producer of the Relational Grace Podcast. “My father was the pastor of First United Methodist Church. After he passed away in 2020, we began rummaging through old Hi-8 video tapes of sermons. …I was elated to find a tape with a handwritten label that just said ‘Rich Mullins.'”
One surprise in the video is an introduction from a young Pastor Craig Groeschel, founding pastor of Life.Church, who was then serving as Associate Pastor of First United Methodist Church.
On April 19, the 28th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, the video will be publicly available on YouTube. The video is debuting at UTR Media exclusively between April 14-18.
Additional stories and reflections about Rich’s 1995 visit to Oklahoma City will be shared on Episode #100 of the Relational Grace Podcast (publishing on 4/18/23).
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