VENTS Magazine: Rick Stephenson Release New Single
This came across my desk today, as a reminder our words matter. In 2007 I was working for a publication and as part of my contract I did reviews of new music ... today, in 2016, nine years later, the artist is quoting me.....
Rick Stephenson returns with his new single “Make It Real”. Watch here
Simply put, RickStephenson is a Singer/Songwriter from Johnson Creek, WI who offers traveling worship ministries. However there’s much more to Rick
than can be simply put. He has a passion for leading others in worship
and has a creative way of expressing it through his music. He has won
awards from the Song Door International Competition, Great Lakes
Songwriting Contest and Write About Jesus. Rick
has also had radio airplay of several of his songs including:
“Sanctuary of My Heart”, “You Gave”, “Christmas Is Here”, “God
Himself”, “Christmas Is Jesus”, “Rebuild My Heart” and “Center of My
Heart” on US and International stations as well as numerous Internet
was born in Libertyville, Illinois and raised in Rockford, Illinois.
His journey into music began at the age of eight during a ride in his
family’s Chevy. He explains, “I vividly remember sitting on the seat of
that big old El Camino. As I was tapping my fingers along to the car
stereo, my mom suddenly turned and suggested that my fingers needed
piano lessons.” Soon after, his parents enrolled him in piano lessons
and Rick began his travels down “El Camino.”
Rick’s mother and father were very religious. Rick
would tag along as they attended daily church services and when they
practiced in the choir. It was the exposure to church music that had a
massive influence on young Rick. “I remember my dad telling me that I sang too quiet, like a church mouse,” Stephenson
continues, “so I would keep singing louder until everyone could hear
me.” This theme of singing loud enough to be heard by everyone in the
church would later be important for him. Rick
would eventually realize that he could deliver a message to a large
group of people through his music. However, he still had miles to travel
on his path.
Throughout his teenage years, Rick
continued piano lessons and began songwriting. “I disliked lessons and
playing classical music, but I loved learning chords and scales, as well
as trying out new sounds,” explains Rick. Deeply inspired by the pop sounds of the 1980s, Stephenson would lay awake at night with his Sony Walkman drifting off to the sounds of Top 40 radio. By his late teens Rick was a budding songwriter who had developed the ability to compose rich, melodic compositions.
After high school, Rick
remained very much involved with music while attending a community
college. He was active in choir, theatre, and performed with music
review troops. After leaving for a four year college, his parents
recommended a traditional field of study. His choice was to be an
accountant, like his father. From the age of nineteen to twenty-eight, Rick
was completely out of music. He landed a job that would take him around
the world. However, these twists and turns in the path still had
importance. It gave him the opportunity to see the world, and learn
about people from all walks of life, and this would be important later
for his ministry.
In 1994, Rick
had a rekindling of his spiritual faith and an awakening of his muses.
While attending worship services by gospel artist Vicki Yohe, he had an
epiphany. He began to comprehend what God wanted him to do with his life
– be an instrument to spread God’s message. Rick
became sure of his calling at a Morton Bustard Ministries event in
1995. It would be at this event that God made a promise to use Rick to minister to others. Rick recalled his ability as a “church mouse” and knew he could be heard – he was back on the path.
The years that followed allowed Rick to develop into a strong minister and worship leader as he soaked up the Bible and began to dive back into music. By 2002, Stephenson
was taking his songwriting seriously and began to compose new material.
In 2005 he started his own ministry and in 2007, his own publishing
company called N-Siteful Music to facilitate the release of his debut CD
entitled Sanctuary of My Heart. The album examines one’s relationship
with God. With pop sounds and eclectic styles, Stephenson’s
debut is a unique blend of Christian music with a mainstream and pop
style. The album has received many positive reviews for its uplifting
and lively songs. Bev Moser of Music News Nashville wrote, “Each song on
this project has a high-energy feel and an excitement of living life
with the appreciation of Christ’s guidance.” Sanctuary of My Heart
reveals Rick’s purpose in his music. He has now become both musician and minister.
goal is that people are blessed by God through his ministry and
songwriting. He sees himself as an instrument of the Holy Spirit – a
musical messenger to lead others to intimacy with God. Stephenson
explains “I love to see how a particular song will touch or encourage
someone in my audience. I then know that God has used me to reach them.
That is an awesome experience and an incredible responsibility for me.”
According to Rick, “we are all on a spiritual journey to discover God and His promises.” If so, it’s certainly a unique journey that RickStephenson has taken on “El Camino” – “the path” from piano to promise in a truly evangelical evolution.