Within the creative vibes of Greenwich Village, Rick Muchow developed his love for singing, guitar playing, and expressing through musical theater. Born in California, Muchow and his mother moved to Greenwich Village when he was six, and when he was 13 they moved back to CA where he continued with his passion for musical expression. During Muchow's high school senior year, while performing in "Godspell," he grasped the meaning of Christianity and converted. Where music used to be his God, music became his instrument for worshiping God. While attending San Jose City College Muchow toured with Gospel Expression, a Spanish gospel singing group. Not speaking Spanish, he learned to serve by playing his guitar. After receiving his Associates Degree in Music, he went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts in Music from San Jose State University. Muchow spent the next two years as youth and music minister at the Warm Springs Baptist Church in CA, and then served four-and-a-half years at the First Baptist Church in Gilroy, CA. He left this church in order to tour America in concert. While finding the concert tour path to be exhausting and not congruent with raising children (he and wife, Laura, have five children), the ministers of the Saddleback Church offered him a position on staff. He accepted and began his musical ministry with them in September, 1987. At the time the church hardly had a music program, using five volunteer musicians for the congregation of 1500 members. It did not have its own building, so rehearsals took place in various members' homes. Under Muchow's musical inspiration, the congregation doubled in size his first year, and today has over 15,000 attending each weekend, with a mailing list of over 54,000. Saddleback Church is the second largest attended church in the U.S. Muchow, using the title "Encouraging Music," is managing a music ministry that is larger than most churches, utilizing over 40 active volunteer musicians and a ministry staff of 45. His format for musical worship follows the acrostic I.M.P.A.C.T. -- Inspiration, Movement, Praise, Adoration, Commitment, and Tie It Together. His music each weekend is adapted especially for the non-Christian seeker.
With his love for musical theater, Muchow actively weaves a tapestry of worship and adoration in every song. He has recorded over 48 songs, with over 60-percent of them reported to be in active use. His first two CDs, Promises Live at Saddleback and Healing Grace Alive at Saddleback, were released by Here to Him in 1999. Favorite songs included are "You Are the Way," "For I Know,," and "I Believe in You."
West Coast Worship, (formerly titled Into Your Arms) and released in 2003 by Butterfly, includes the ancient Celtic hymn "Be Thou My Vision," along with Muchow's and other artist's own devotional creations. The CD reflects the love of God in sun-drenched southern California. ~ Eleanor Ditzel
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