Jesus Music

Thanks to AudioGalaxy and some nostalgia, I’ve been enjoying some formative music from an important period of my life. My spiritual pilgrimage began in earnest in 1982, and for better or worse, I was introduced to the evangelical subculture with which I’ve had such a complicated relationship. My musical taste around this time was clearly punk and new wave, but there was a lot of compelling music being made by Christians that fell way outside my usual genre boundaries. Luckily for me, this music broke through my snobbery and became very important to me. A lot of these recordings are out of print now, or at least hard to find on CD. Thank God for file sharing!

  • Daniel Amos are still making music today. Not the name of a person, but a group, DA were one of the most influential bands from this period. Able to span genres effortlessly (they began as a country band and became celebrated as an alternative band!), they produced three albums (The “Alarma” Chronicles) that still hold up today. Satirizing everything, these songs still move me because they are honest, humble, and always looking for truth, which makes a pretty good creed to live by. Good songs: Faces to the Window, Through the Speakers.
  • Larry Norman was one of the original “Jesus freaks” from the 60s, although he made most of his music in the 70s. Hippy music like his was still alive in the church in the 80s, along with other discredited 70s pastimes like roller-skating, but I always liked the combination of apocalypse and hope in his songs. Good songs: Six-Sixty-Six (covered recently by Frank Black), I Love You.
  • Andrae Crouch is a man who combined traditional Gospel music with funk and R&B and made it appeal to both white and black listeners. If it weren’t for Andrae, I might not be listening to Prince and Stevie Wonder today. Good songs: All the Way, Finally.

The whole “Contemporary Christian Music” thing is a bit silly to me, but despite that, these musicians were trying to do much more than just entertain Christians. Their music helps me remember who I was, who I am, and who I want to become.

99 thoughts on “Jesus Music”

  1. I have to agree with all the others who commented on all the many areas of ministry that Patti Roberts Thompson has been involved in over the years. First, she was always the highlight of the primetime Oral Roberts TV specials so many years ago. I remember reading the book “Ashes to Gold” and how impressed I was that she was able to speak the truth without any apparent bitterness. Through the years I continued to follow her career, including the album “Hope of the Heart”, her second book, etc. Later I was priviledged to hear her sing often at First Methodist Church in Tulsa and have often wondered where she went from there. I must tell of one very special service one night at FUMC when she and Joseph Bias held a prayer service. I will never forget how God used these two people to minister to us that night. I still have all of the albums which I listen too often and the books which I have re-read on several occassions. Like others on this blog, I highly respect the person of integrity that I believe she is.

  2. Patti,
    I remember you singing when I was much younger. Loved your music and your voice. How can we get your recordings?

  3. Patti,
    I originally came to this website and blog looking for any information on you or your music or any books that might be out. It is so evident how the Lord has used you through the years, in music and ministry, and how loved and appreciated you are. My wish, hope, is that perhaps you would start a web page of your own so we could “keep” up on you or share more comments (although this site will do if that is best for you!) For me personally and I think I speak for all these others, we would simply love to hear from you (again) and know how you are doing. If that is not something you want right now, we can respect that…just know we care and
    appreciate you.

  4. Patti!!!!!

    I searched the internet & finally found you here! I read your first book, “Ashes To Gold” & have the LP “Hope For The Heart”. Is it going to be re-released on CD soon? And I can’t find your second book anywhere! Your book & album were very instrumental in my getting out of the “prosperity” heresy. You see, in 1978, when I was 18, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I was in college & attending a “name it/claim it” church at the time. I was told all the usual stuff…eliminate negative vocabulary & thinking, “confess” my healing, & of course, purchase the teaching tapes & books so I could keep my faith strong. When I didn’t get healed, I was told it was MY fault – I didn’t confess enough, I had “secret” sins to repent from, my faith wasn’t good enough, which meant buying more tapes & books. They even said God couldn’t use anyone who was sick! It wasn’t that I wanted to be wealthy, I just wanted to get well. After about 7 years of getting beat up for still not receiving a healing, I came across your book & LP. That, along with intense study of the Bible, convinced me this was an UN-Biblical teaching. So I renounced it & left that church. I still struggle with colitis, went through a bout with non-hodgkins lymphoma & now I’m on permanent disability. But I’m serving God as a worship leader for an inner city ministry! I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing your story, painful as it might have been. It made a difference in my life. God bless you.

  5. Hi Patti!

    I love your book Ashes to Gold. With everything that is going on here at Tulsa (I live down the street from the ORU gym) my heart just aches and I am sick to my stomach. I admit that I bought the book out of curiosity, but now I held fast to the book because it made me take a deeper look into my own marriage. Everything can seem perfect from the outside, but it can be anything but that inside closed doors. I am in so much pain, and I am so confused. Thank you for your honesty and making me feel that I am not alone.

  6. Christy,

    I am sorry to learn about the trials you are experiencing in your marriage. There is a lot of ministry available, how you gotten any?

    No matter what, the Lord loves you and cares about what you are going through.

    In all sincerity, I hope that all will work out for you.

  7. Hi Patti

    I was at ORU and sang in the Concert Choir with you in 66-67. Just today, I found a recording of yours ‘Amazing Grace’ on YouTube. Can’t tell you how delighted I was to find the recording. Your singing always moved me and that particular rendition just wipes me out! I am sure it’s become the music comes from a beautiful soul.

  8. Dear Patti,

    Shortly before your divorce from Richard you gave a concert at the church I was attending (Evangelistic Temple). I always thought it was good, but when you sang “The Lord’s Prayer” A Cappella- I’ve never heard it done more beautifully!
    What a voice!!

    Is there some CD’s of yours available anywhere?

  9. Hello,
    I just graduated from ORU in 2005, and my heart is so sad. I know that God takes all of our moments of “ashes” and turns them into beauty. He did it for you Patti, and your life has been so blessed. I believe that He will do it for Richard and his family members too. I hope that you and your daughters know how loved you all are in the body of Christ. Many blessings on ya’ll and your families.

  10. On the Tulsa World comments they are saying that Patti was divorced from her second husband (Thompson). I do not think that is true. Does anyone know? Wanting to set the record straight. Thanks.

  11. Patti,
    Just want to wish you a very Blessed Christmas. I sure hope and pray you would make a new CD or write another book,…something!!! (as the Lord leads of course). God Bless Patti.
    [email protected]

  12. Patti ,
    So good to get an update. Have tried many times to track you down, and so glad to find a way to make contact. Spoke with David Carnes a couple of months back, and recently came across some old photos of our mission trip to Iran.
    Please feel free to get back directly at my email: [email protected]. Would love to “catch up”.
    Because of Him,
    Lynwood Wells

  13. For Gloria Lovell–I understand you are looking for a tape or Cd of Ron Huff’s EXALTATION.

    By coincidence just today I converted my tape of that cassette to digital. If you read this, let me know I would be happy to share this joyous rendition with you.

    1. I would love Exhaltation by Huff. It was a favorite of mine, I wore out 2 tapes of it…if you have it, I’d love a copy, let me hear details.

      Thanks so much, & God bless you.

    2. Greetings!
      I am desparately searching for a digital copy of Exaltation by Ronn Huff. I’m wondering how I might get a copy.

      1. If you read messages below, I still have my vinyl LP, and yes, I have digitized it.

        I don’t know if it is legal to give out the digitization without the LP, but I do have the LP for sale, and have for a long time – a hard to find album, but who plays records anymore?

        You can read messages below from 2010 if you wish to contact me, otherwise, I simply wish you luck – this is an awesome album and digitizations ARE available.

  14. I have just read “Dance of the Broken Heart,” the 1985 book by Patti & John Thompson. I’ve been wondering how their son Canon is, as he is 22 years old now? I’ve thought about Patti and her family often over the years. I hope everyone is well and happy these days.

  15. From First United Methodist Church, of Warren, PA home page:

    Did you know that the composer and author of Hymn 123 in our United Methodist Hymnal was married in our church sanctuary? John Thompson, who wrote “El Shaddai” (God Almighty) in 1981 was married on March 29, 1996. The Rev. Ken McGowan officiated at his wedding.”

  16. Patti: I’ve read and re-read “Ashes to Gold” and always find something new in it; it’s just an amazing book. I’ve loaned it out to several people and they all say that it’s an eye opener on so many levels. It speaks to everyone about the importance of putting the value of marriage first (it even speaks to non believers).

    I sincerely hope that you and the girls are doing well. Be good to yourself.

  17. I’m up late and started wondering what had happened to Patti Roberts and her girls. I was thrilled to see this site. I watched you, Patti, on t.v. oh, so many years ago. I have a couple of albums of you and Richard, and one that has your 2 daughters on the back of the album (yes, I still have the albums). 🙂 Thrilled to hear you are doing well. I’ve always wondered how the children (now grown obviously) have been doing. Thrilled to see you are doing well. What an incredibly beautiful voice you had and I’m sure still do have. God bless you, Patti, and your family. You have been missed!

    I always remember singing along with ya’ll “Greater is He That is With You Than He That Is In The World.” 🙂 You both did an outstanding performance on that song.

    Thank you for blessing me so many years ago.

  18. Patti,

    I had been wondering how you were doing and was delighted to find this site and find out you’re doing well. I’ve read both of your books and they have some of the best insight on the pitfalls people in general and ministries in particular can find themselves dealing with. We need more people who will speak out about the need for Christians to stay focused on God and to watch out for the traps.

    I can understand why you would be conflicted about what has happened at ORU; I admire you for not going the “I told you so” route.

  19. That should be “have some of the best insight I’ve ever read on…” I leave out words now and then.

  20. For Wes, or anyone else: I am desparate to get hold of a digital copy of Ron Huff’s Exaltation – best worship music ever. Unfortunately my cassette is worn out.

  21. Hi Patti,

    I have read, reread and saved your 2 books Ashes to Gold and Dance of the Broken Heart for many years. I did write you a letter once but never heard anything back, even enclosed a postage stamp. I am glad to know you are doing good but suprised to learn you no longer live in Franklin, TN, I have for many many years been trying to move to that area, I used to live in Clarksville, TN and loved it so. Franklin is a beautiful area. Please write another book . PLEASE!1

  22. Dill – There appears to be a copy of Exaltation now available on file sharing sites. It appears to be a digitized version of the cassette even though it is in flac format. It does sound nice. I don’t know if it is ‘everything’ – the cd (available now on ebay for $80! No way.) says 2 albums on one cd, so there may be more music on that. Hope this helps someone.

  23. Anybody out there know where to find a copy of El Shaddi the musical. I have an old LP but it has one bad defect. Help anyone!


    Mr. Ross

  24. I was trying to get in contact with Patti Roberts Thompson. My parents were friends with her years ago and my Dad was trying to get a hold of her. She had emailed us a couple of years back but we lost track of her address. Any info would be helpful.
    God bless !

  25. To Wes,

    I have been desperately looking for a copy of Ron Huff’s Exaltation. I understand that you have a digital copy of it. Are you able to share?

    Thanks in advance,


  26. I am also desperately looking for a copy of Ron Huff’s Exaltation music… my tape is toast. I’d be delighted to find a way to get a digital copy. thanks!!

  27. Not really trying to advertise (so I won’t post how to contact me yet) but I do still have an LP copy of Exaltation that is in excellent condition. Don’t really know if anyone cares about LPs anymore, but obviously copies still exist. Sounds like the link above this message could then put it on cd.

  28. For those fans of “Dance of the Broken Heart,” by John and Patti Thompson, I must sadly inform you that their marriage apparently did not stand the test of time. I felt such a kinship to their story and was hoping their re-marriage turned out better than my own. I wish I had better news. In this article I found John Thompson now lives in Delaware and has remarried again to a woman he met on They only knew each other for 5 months before getting married. I guess he still has issues, but then, don’t we all. You can use the link below to read the article:–%5C-El-Shaddai%5C–writer-pens-new-hymn

  29. That is a shame; I’m sorry things didn’t turn out better for them. You just never know what life might throw at you, you can only do your best and trust God for the rest. And yes, we all do have our issues to deal with.

  30. Just a reminder to everyone that this is NOT Patti Thompson’s web site. It’s a blog that I write and I have NO connection to Patti Thompson. In fact, my entry doesn’t even mention her. It’s all of these comments that bring people here when they do a Google search. You’re more than welcome to discuss Patti’s music here, but I can’t put you in touch with her or put you on her mailing list. Thanks!

  31. Hi,

    I too have been trying to get Exaltation by Ron Huff.

    Please, if their is anyone reading this who has it on tape/vinyl/mp3/flac etc and can get me a copy i would be most grateful

    Please leave a link or contact email so i can get in touch



  32. Paul – LOL!!!! Clicking on your name takes me to Amazon, and an image of the back cover OF MY VINYL ALBUM!!! Seriously. (I uploaded that picture). It really must be rare now!

  33. I’m so happy to have found a place where I could learn something about Patti and John! We knew them 21 years’ ago in New York City at Times Square Church (established by David Wilkerson in 1987) and she and John had been guests in our home and we in theirs (in New York). Patti and my husband both sang in the choir. At that time the Thompsons had started a music publishing company “Great Pearl” but I don’t think it lasted too long – Patti asked me if I’d consider working there. (No way!) Patti’s a sweetheart but John is, to put it gently, not exactly a very congenial guy. You said it, he’s got issues! Anyway, the last time I spoke to Patti on the phone (in NY) she had just miscarried a baby. She and John had one child together, Canon Thompson and I have photos taken outside the church of the entire family (tho’ I cut John’s head off because he was so annoyed to have his picture taken). I told him he’d be happy to know I cut his head off and he said “good”. We lost touch after they left NY, they moved around so much. About 3 years’ ago we heard from a friend who was close to the Thompsons in NY at the time. He told us that they had divorced and that one of them had remarried. I was pretty shocked, not about the divorce, who could stay married to that grouch (John), but about the remarriage. I felt that it probably wouldn’t be Patti but then Patti was John’s THIRD wife and surely he wouldn’t remarry- but now I find out he did. Wow. I do happen to have a fairly good sounding old tape of El Shaddai, the Musical, given to us by the Thompsons because my husband sang in the NYC production of El Shaddai along with 200 other people. Some were given the tapes as a thank you. I don’t think I have the right to duplicate it or give it out. At the time, John was planning to make an album of it but that never got off the ground. Sorry to be so long winded but this is amazing to me, that after thirsting for some current information about Patti, I found this blog! If you, as “blog-writer”, should care to receive the photos I refer to above of the Thompsons as well as Patti’s two girls, if I’m satisfied that you won’t publish them or give them to anyone, I might consider it. I just hope that through this somehow someone can add to this information. I’d love to hug Patti once again- she has a tender and loving heart.

    1. Hi Terry ~

      I must have been wonderful for your husband to be in the production of El Shaddai. I purchased a cassette tape when I was a new Christian in college and was so moved by the music. I have been looking for a copy of the musical on and off for the last fifteen years. Do you have any information as to how I might find one? Even the name of the record label may help. The closest I’ve come so far is a photo of the album but it was listed as “unavailable”. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


  34. I’ve been looking for the last 20 years for that production El Shaddai “The Musical”. Would you please contact me to see how I can get a copy? (610) 468-6888

  35. Wow. Was just searching for info on “El Shaddai The Musical” and came across this site. Terry Vazquez, you should be ashamed of yourself. Since you are so quick to judge, I assume you are without sin? I happened to know both John and Patti very well (still do, in fact) and your assessment of them couldn’t be further from the truth. There were some deeper and much more private issues going on that you will never know about so I urge to realize that things are not as they seem. I won’t disparage anyone here, but I can say that things were VERY different from what your ignorant view states. Stop judging other people and try compassion next time.

  36. The fact is, nobody can truly know what happens in a marriage except the two people involved. Even if you do happen to know them, you still tend to see and/or tell things from your perspective. The best thing to do I think is pray for them. While I am sorry things didn’t go better for them, it appears this all happened a long time ago and it’s probably not productive to discuss it on a message board. Things don’t always turn out the way you plan. I think it would be wise to get back to the original purpose of the site, to discuss music. Just my opinion.

  37. I’d like to say I was saved through Oral’s Ministry, and when the divorce took place I stayed neutral and kept my peace.. I Honestly believe Patti told the truth, Even though I never read her book.. She was a very Beautiful woman.. Some times through life we take the wrong path, but if we are Faithful God will see us through.. I never agreed with Ministers living in thirty million dollar homes, and I don’t see it in the Bible where God has condone such life styles. The Apostles lived by example… Paul chose to work and preach to win more souls to Christ.. Smith Wiggles Worth lived like an Apostle. Now I’m not these peoples Judge God is..
    The Bible Say’s in that time they will say,” Have we not cast out devils in your name, healed the sick, raised the dead. Why did the Lord say that if these people didn’t perform such tasks. I could go on and on with Scripture, But like I said, I’m not their Judge but God is.. Oh I still enjoy watching Richard, Benny, and others.. But I see some holding onto filthy Lucre and that’s not pleasing to GOD.. AA Allen was an example, loved his alcohol.. And what does the Bible say about Drunkards? It Say’s they can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven.. Like I said I’m not their Judge, and In no way am I saying these men will be lost, because I fear God’s judgment to judge another man, so I’ll leave that up to God, but I also know what the Scriptures Say.. We have to be Honest with our selves and with others, and we should never water down the word of God

  38. It is so interesting to read comments which are clearly gossip, but all done by loving Christians. This is why people are turned off by Christianity; they don’t see Jesus in YOU. They only see gossips. And by the way Mel, what does then bible say about gossips? You might want to check that out because you will be on the receiving end of that one! You also might want to check out the life story of AA Allen ( written by his daughter). He didn’t drink. Be thankful for the mercy of God that none of us deserve, and stop talking about people as if you know them personally. You wouldn’t want to be gossiped about, so stop doing it to others! And money is not filthy- scripture tells us the love of money is evil. A lot of good has been done with money, and GOD speaks repeatedly about being blessed- He has obviously blessed many people, and my guess is that they are faithful tithers!


    And Terry, if Patti ever hugged you after your arrogant, self-important post, she would truly have a big heart.

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