Contemporary Christian Music Watch
By Jim Galipeau

Some things make you go . . . hmmmm! Like the recent 13-page investigative report in Cornerstone Magazine on Christian comedian Mike Warnke. Written by Jon Trott and Mike Hertenstein, the story, "Selling Satan: The Tragic Story of Mike Warnke," alleges that Mike lied about his past as a Satanic High Priest and that his personal life has been filled with moral failures. The article consists of interviews with friends, relatives, schoolmates, pastors and former wives of Warnke to bring to light possible weaknesses in Mike's life story. The report concludes with a plea for Mike Warnke's repentance and confession.

Meanwhile, Mike Warnke's label for his comedy material, Word, lnc., issued a statement recently in the CCM Update. Quoting Word, "In response to recent allegations of the integrity of Mike Warnke's ministry, Word, Inc. met with Mike and conducted follow-up on the areas in question. Information the company received reinforces our confidence in his ministry." Mike Warnke says he doesn't like being called a liar and the story of his conversion as told in his book "The Satan Seller"

It doesn't matter if you believe Mike Warnke or what Cornerstone Magazine says about his life; the fact is that man will fail but God never fails. The key is to look to Christ and not to man for leadership and growth.

Other unfortunate news from a Word artist: Sandi Patti has officially filed for divorce from John Helvering on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown. A spokesman for Sandi said the relationship has been very painful and after much prayer and counsel this decision has been reached. The statement said that the divorce was the last regrettable option. Sandi asks friends to pray for her and her family.

So you want to go skiing with Amy Grant! It could be a reality with a special promotion in connection with her new Christmas album. Myrrh records could send you to the slopes with Amy. Look for details soon in your favorite Christian bookstore.

While we wait for cold weather, Amy's already being snowed under. Not with the white stuff but with awards. Add number eight, Top Pop Songwriter, to the honors she's received this year. The number eight position was based on Billboard's March '9l-'92 charts taking the number of compositions on the chart, chart positions and weeks on the chart. Chalk up another first for Amy Grant! Her Heart In Motion project has sold over three million units, making her the first Christian artist to achieve the certified triple platinum honor. Grant's Heart In Motion video collection has been certified gold over 50,000 units sold.

Congrats go out to some moms and dads. Russ Taft and his wife Tori had a baby girl they named Madeleine Rose on June 27. Rick Florian of White Heart and his wife had a baby boy July 3 they named Will Christian. And on Easter morning, Warner Alliance artist Margaret Bell and football great Keith Byars had a daughter. Her name is Taylor Renee.

Some dancin' and singin' boys are in the studio working on their next jammin' project. At the helm for the Katina Boys is gospel great Andae Crouch. Star Song's Australian group the Newsboys are completing work on their fall project. It should be interesting as they've been recording with the help of producer and wild man Steve Taylor.

Pioneer of contemporary Christian music and author John Fischer has signed a recording agreement with Enclave Entertainment, a division of Urgent Records. Wide Angle should be in the stores any day now. Also new on bookstore shelves this month: David and The Giants with Long Time Coming; Connie Scott and Live To Tell; Ray Boltz and Seasons Change and a nice three-CD or -cassette series from Warner Alliance made just for morning, noon and night. It's appropriately titled Morning Tapestry, Afternoon Tapestry and Evening Tapestry. The three-piece project features some nice instrumental cuts and vocals performed by Kelly Willard, Michael English, Phil Keaggy, Bob Carlisle, Bruce Carroll, Steve Green and members of White Heart.

If you're a night owl and have cable TV there's a new show on The Family Channel you would probably enjoy. CCM Magazine has teamed up with The Family Channel to present CCM TV Saturday nights at midnight. The half-hour show features videos, artist interviews, music news and more.

Petra's set to begin their big "Unseen Power: 20 Years of Rock Tour." The band has incorporated the world-class lighting techniques of Jim Lenahan who is responsible for the successful shows of Boy Dylan, Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks. Petra will blend music from Unseen Power and Beyond Belief along with classics from their 20-year history as a Christian rock group. Petra brings their exciting tour to Louisville appearing in the Gospel concert at the Kentucky State Fair Monday night, August 24. Opening for Petra at the free concert in Cardinal Stadium will be Kathy Troccoli.

The concert we've all been wanting to come to Louisville will be here September 15 at Memorial Auditorium. Steven Curtis Chapman and band, along with Susan Ashton and Out of the Grey, ride into town on the ropes of Steven's Great Adventure Tour. Listen to 88.5 FM WJIE for ticket information and the exact time of the big show!

WJIE Music Pics

"The Great Adventure" Steven Curtis Chapman

"It Just Takes Time" Larelle Harris

"He Never Changes" 4 Him "To Forgive" Al Denson

"Hallelu Yahweh" Marilyn McCoo

"Say the Word" White Heart

"Breaking the Law of Love" Bruce Carroll

"Waiting for the Day" Billy Sprague

"You Laid Down Your Love" Kelly Willard

"One Heart at a Time" Newsong