It is no secret that my husband Tom Stipe and I are a couple of aging “Jesus People.” We were born and raised in Southern California and the roots of our Christian experience trace back to a revival time in the early seventies known as the “Jesus Movement.” Those years were exciting times for youthful followers of Christ and they also have proved to be the days when Contemporary Christian Music was born and began taking its first shaky baby steps. The first “Rock” generation Christian musicians began to take the platforms of American churches during those years (approx. 1969-1976) and it was in many ways ground that was not easily taken.
By God’s blessing Tom (a musician himself) became the staff evangelist at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the preacher at ground breaking regional Christian Music events known as The Saturday Night Concerts. Weekly thousands of young people would fill a tent pitched as Calvary Chapel’s temporary facility to hear a growing family of Christian musicians and bands evangelize crowds with the music of the Jesus People. It was during these grass roots times of Contemporary Christian Music that Tom and I became acquainted with many young Christian artists and amongst them were a young couple named John and Lisa Wickham. John and Lisa were among the pioneering contemporary Christian musicians on the then fledgling Maranatha Music label, where Tom served as a staff producer. John was part of the band known as “The Way” and Lisa a part of the group “Parable”.
Well, fast forward nearly forty years and that’s where you meet up with Phil Wickham. Phil is the son of John and Lisa Wickham and has taken the Christian music legacy of his two parents on to new heights. Phil is a ground breaking Christian musician in his own right. He has had numerous top-ten Contemporary Christian hits and his song “Safe” is currently at number five on the Billboard Charts for Christian Music.
With all this said, Tom and I are excitedly awaiting Phil’s up-coming concert at Crossroads Church of Denver on April 13th, 2010. While it makes us feel incredibly old it also warms our hearts to welcome the children of our “Jesus People” friends to our platform. Phil is among an elite group of second generation Contemporary Christian Music artists and personnel who are currently gracing the stages of Christian venues and churches throughout America. Other Christian artists whose parents were a part of the “golden” age of Contemporary Christian Music are:
Chad Butler from Switchfoot whose Dad Chuck Butler was in “Country Faith” and “Parable.”
Alisa Girard Childers from Zoe Girls whose Dad Chuck Girard was in the famed Jesus Movement group “Love Song”.
And Eli Thomson a Maranatha Music artist and producer whose Dad Kevin Thomson was a member of “Sweet Comfort.”
In addition, our two daughters Jennifer Stipe Mouttet, and Allison Stipe Schwab have followed in their Dad’s footsteps working in the Contemporary Christian Music Biz. They both graduated from Belmont University with degrees in Music Business and have worked for various labels throughout their careers most recently and notably BEC Recordings. On a side note Allison is also married to a Christian artist, Andrew Schwab of Project 86.
Tickets for the up-coming Phil Wickham concert cost $12 and are available on his website. Tickets will be available at the door the night of the concert for $17.