Dave took time out to sit down with Robin at the keyboard and give this online, late-night interview to catch us up on The Legacy, his new career away from the pulpit and to kindly answer questions from the ragamuffin list...
Screen names have been changed to protect privacy.
Also, keep in mind that Rich's family called him by his middle name and Dave refers to him at times in this interview as Wayne.
Rhonda: Last time I saw you, you were on your way to KS - now you're there and settled - tell us how you like it.
Dave: I'd say we like it just fine. We're getting settled and it feels like home.
Rhonda: And last time we talked, your role in the Legacy was undefined...what about now? Do you have a better idea of what you'll be doing?
Dave: Umm, wow, right now Alyssa Loukota and I are pretty much doing everything together.
Rhonda: Which consists of...?
Dave: We did Jesus Fest, which went well. We have taken two trips to the Rez (reservation) and we were able to teach in a couple of camps down there.
Rhonda: What was that like for you?
Dave: It was a good trip. It was interesting. I found it to be similar to Appalachia. The poverty is pretty overwhelming. But the people seemed like people anywhere else. We participated in a couple of camps, mainly just being there and observing. We've laid some goals for the next year.
Rhonda: Pretend I'm clueless (not a great stretch) and I ask you what you do for a living....
Dave: My days vary greatly. Most days, Alyssa and I get together either at her house, my house, or the office and work on planning and direction for the Legacy. We also try to answer the phone calls that come in, which is my job.
The mail, and email. Right now we're getting caught up on that. We have developed a brochure for our native work and we're also in search of school buses, instruments and other things needed to support our traveling schools.
Rhonda: Are you getting quite a bit of mail?
Dave: Yeah, it's coming pretty steadily, along with some donations. And we have sent out an update letter. Other days I just spend studying.
Rhonda: Studying what?
Dave: Well, we have some plans for the spring to address the requests to learn more about St. Francis so I've been reading quite a bit about him. We'll be sending out a newsletter this month to talk about that. Also I've been reading a lot of Phillip Yancy. I'm also working on sermons for a Faith Promise Rally at my home church.
Rhonda: And tell me about the retreat ministry that you've put in place.
Dave: We have, through a lot of thinking and praying, decided that our ministry is to more than just the Native Americans. We want to try to help people who really are looking for a deeper relationship with Christ to find ways to do that. We have had a lot of questions about what we are. Are we an order or something else? We hope to have a retreat on Abandonment to Christ ready to offer by the first of Feb. 1999. We will be teaching using the example of St. Frank. He tried to live a life totally dependent upon Christ. He really believed and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. We will be teaching sessions on those three ideas. We don't hold [St. Francis] up as some kind of God but as a person who really lived a life of dependence and sacrifice to God.
Rhonda: How long will it last and how often will you give them?
Dave: The retreat will be for a weekend. We now have the basic overview ready. It will begin on Friday night and run through Sat. night. Right now we plan to have Fri. be an introduction. We will also have a time of worship. Sat. will have three main sessions with teaching times on poverty or simplicity, chastity and obedience. Along with some other activities.
Rhonda: Who will this involve?
Dave: Right now it will be Alyssa and I and possibly Mitch, Eric, and Michael. Jim Smith may also help on some retreats. Right now we will be traveling with this retreat. If there is a group who really wants us to come we will try to come.
Rhonda: So a church can bring you in?
Dave: Yes. And we will probably offer a concert. That is the plan and I'm really excited about this.
Rhonda: So if people want that for their church they just contact KIDBROTHERS?
Dave: Yes. We hope to send out our first news letter to our mailing list later this month. We hope to have some details about the retreats in there. We are now studying and planning for it. We hope to be ready to do it in Feb. Eventually we would like to set up retreat centers around the country. We would like to set one up in Cin. Ohio, here in Wichita, and one in the south west. If we get that done it would be open to people year around. We would offer directed retreats in the spring and fall. And possibly week long things in the summer. It would also be available to groups who just wanted to use the facilities. It would also be available to those who just need to get away by themselves for some quiet time with God.
Rhonda: So you'll have both - traveling retreats and retreat centers?
Dave: Yeah, for awhile. If we get the retreat centers going we might phase out the traveling. We are going to keep our travel down to about two weekends a month. That will have to include retreats and visits to the rez.
Rhonda: What's the hardest part of your new position?
Dave: Wow, getting my wife to do something. LOL.
Rhonda: LOL -
Dave: (I typed that under duress.)
Rhonda: I bet!
Dave: Umm, no, the hardest part of my job would be just not really knowing where to start, and what direction to go, and right now dealing with all the stuff about Rich. The Legacy is pretty simple compared to the estate stuff.
Rhonda: Tell me what you mean by "dealing with the estate."
Dave: Just dealing with the offers of books, videos, and the like. And deciding what is appropriate. I mean, there is some who think that people want it and we should make it available and making money off of that is okay. Others think that we should do nothing. Just because people want it, doesn't mean that it's the right thing to do and probably somewhere in the middle of all of that is what's best.
Rhonda: Were you ever involved in Rich's ministry before?
Dave: I would say no. I mean, he had his ministry and I had mine. I had a lot of respect for him and what he did. God blessed him with that. And He called me in another direction and blessed me in that.
Rhonda: Would you say you leaned on Rich spiritually or was it the other way around?
Dave: That's a tough one. Ummm, I had a great deal of respect for him. I learned a lot through him. He challenged me and I think from what others have told me, that he had a great deal of respect for me and that I challenged him. So I would say he influenced me and I influenced him. I don't know that either of us leaned on the other.
Rhonda: I went to one of Rich's concerts with our mutual friend who went to college with you - when she saw Rich she said " I went to school with your brother!"
His face lit up - he said, "Oh yeah? Isn't he great?" He was proud of you...
Dave: I hope so.
Rhonda: How can you make the foundation shift it's focus from Rich to its own identity?
Dave: I don't know. I think with time it will naturally. We don't want to divorce ourselves from him. The work that we're doing comes from a seed that was planted through him. But I hope that people will come to see this work not as Rich's, not as David's, or anybody else's. I hope that people will come to see this work as God's.
If I'm not here to do it, I believe God will have someone else do it if He wants it done.
Rhonda: What sort of things are you doing to spread the word about the foundation?
Dave: Right now, it is mainly word of mouth. I think that in the Jesus Record there is a little note about us. I'm not even sure if there is any other thing like that advertising for us. We have our web page.
Rhonda: And a mailing list?
Dave: Yeah, yeah, we've got about - I think 250 or so people on our mailing list now.
Rhonda: Is it snail mail or e-mail? How would one go about getting on it?
Dave: Our mailing list is snail mail. They can go to our web page and leave us an e-mail or they can write to us to join.
Our web site is http://www.kidbrothers.org/.
Our e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also get that through the web site as well.
Rhonda: On the web, people sometimes ask personal questions - about Rich's love life - directions to the grave...where would you like to see the line drawn - at what point is it too personal?
Dave: You know, he was a public person and as that, people want to know about him obviously. The problem is that no one wants their private life public. His love life makes no difference to anyone. No one will be drawn closer to God to know who he loved on this earth.
As far as the grave, my mom couldn't even go to the grave on the date of his death without people standing and watching. Some were polite and walked away, others were not. There is a point that as a mother or brother or sister that you say, "You know what? Enough." He shared his life with the world. There are some things we just don't want to share. If there is something that can encourage, strengthen, or help people to draw closer to the Lord, we want that. But personal facts won't do that. So I think that's where the line ought to be. That's not to protect him, that's just to say - what's the point?
Rhonda: The Ragamuffin Mail List sent in a few questions...would you mind entertaining them?
Dave: That's fine.
Rhonda: Mike Barlow from Ohio asks......Which one of Rich's songs was your favorite?
Dave: Wow, that's hard. That's really hard. I think Heaven In His Eyes was my favorite for years.
Rhonda: And he did that first with Zion right?
Dave: Yeah, Growing Young, Hard to Get,
Dave: I really like Jesus. I think for me, you could pretty much go down the list of most, if not all of his albums and I would like about 3/4 or more.
Rhonda: Okay...you're on a desert island...you can only take one of his CD's - which one?
Dave: Liturgy. I think without question.
Rhonda: Me too - ready for another Mike question?
Rhonda: What was Rich like to grow up with? Most people don't realize the age gap.
Dave: Well, I didn't grow up with him. He was 12 years older. So I grew up waiting for him to get off the bus and wrestling with him and him beating me to a pulp. And then going to see concerts and visiting. It was pretty cool.
Rhonda: And the last one from Mike...What is your funniest memory of Rich?
Dave: Him not being able to get into his own concert!!
Rhonda: You're kidding - do tell!
Dave: We were in Knoxville, TN, and right before the concert he decided that he and Michael Aukofer and us - me, Robin and Jonathan, should go to get something to eat.
So we're eating at some restaurant and he realizes it's time for the concert to start. So it's pouring down rain and we run to the car and rush to the concert. I dropped Rich, Michael - who carried Jonathan like a football - and Robin off at the door and went to park the car. When they got in the door, the ticket taker wouldn't let him in without a ticket. And he told the guy, but you don't understand, I'm Rich Mullins. And the guy responded, yeah, yeah, that's what they all say. There was a picture on a poster in the lobby and they got it and showed it to the guy. So he finally got in. And Michael had to sneak on-stage because the Ragamuffins were already on stage playing. Pretty funny.
Rhonda: Okay...from....Kathleen Curzon of Florida...How closely do you work with the ragamuffins?
Dave: Not real closely right now. We have a good relationship with them, I think. But their thing is music and touring and ours is working on the Rez. So right now there just isn't a lot to do together.
Rhonda: I know you just saw the Ragamuffins in concert - how was that for you?
Dave: It was really good and really hard. I really enjoyed the new stuff. The Jesus Record. I have always loved hearing This Train. And I like to hear Mitch and the Kid Brothers. It was really hard listening to the old stuff. The Rags second set. I think this was the first time that I have heard that stuff that I didn't hear Wayne's voice. It has never mattered who sang his songs I heard his voice. So that was kind of tough. I just stood in the back of the room and sang as loud as I could so that I'd kind of hear it.
Rhonda: I spoke to a certain ragamuffin who was kind of bummed that you had been at that show because the sound wasn't just right...they wanted everything to be perfect for you.
Dave: You know, when I go to a concert I don't care if it is professional. I want to see people singing - not a cd sound. I want to hear people talk and tell me what is in them. I want to participate and I think the rags let that happen. Besides, Wayne never did a perfect performance by those standards either. They did a good job of keeping the atmosphere the same. (forgetting words, getting lost, and finally laughing about it.)
Rhonda: They did that alright!
Rhonda: Kim Robson from PA...she's an artist and is going to NM to visit in June and wants to know how to go about teaching there in connection with the Legacy...is that possible?
Dave: She can write us and we'll discuss it.
Rhonda: Vickie Westbrook wants to know about people who aren't musically inclined - is there room for them to help at the foundation?
Dave: I would just tell people who are interested in helping us to just write us. Right now we don't have many opportunities for people to work. But who knows what the future holds.
Rhonda: Okay...here's a good one from Wendy from Ohio...What would have made Rich the most proud of the foundation?
Dave: I think that we are not focusing on trying to do exactly what he wanted to do as far as programs, but that we are trying to do what he wanted to do at the heart of the matter.
Rhonda: Which is?
Dave: To share the love of Christ. To try to make this life a little better, bring a little hope, share a little joy and please God. Really, I do think that what he would want out of me and anyone else is to look for God's leading and go there. Not what they think Rich Mullins would want them to do.
Rhonda: Finally, from Kathleen - how can we best pray for the foundation?
Dave: Pray that God works. We are really making a conscious effort to wait upon God. Not to make our plans, but to wait for the doors that God opens and then walk through them. So people can pray that we have the eyes to see and the faith to follow.
Rhonda: Great, I think that's it! Anything else you care to add?
Dave: I think Mom would like me to thank everybody again for their prayers and thoughts. I mean, she's still getting cards...and letters...
Thanks to Dave for taking time -
To Robin for setting the interview and typing!
And to Judy for the priceless pictures.
For questions or comments regarding
this page, e-mail Rhonda Miskowski
Essential Rich Links:
Legacy of a Kid Brother Of St. Frank
Rhonda's Rich Mullins Page
Danl's Mailing List Archive
Calling Out Your Name
Dave Mullins Interview Part I
The Rich Mullins Memorial Ring
Ragamuffin Mail List
Note: Previously unpublished photos may not be used in any way without the expressed permission of