Amy Hagberg


Being a Christian recording artist is a tough gig.

I can’t even count how many of the high-profile Christian musicians I’ve interviewed over the last few years have told me they are struggling … struggling to find their voice, struggling to break through the clutter, and struggling to keep the faith. Far too many of them, even those with big names and Dove awards on the mantle, are struggling to make ends meet.

Because most of them are more concerned with ministry than money, they gladly trade the glitz and glam of the secular music business to share an eternal message. Unfortunately, they still pay the same price for gas to fuel their tour buses (usually several years old), they have mortgages, salaries, health insurance, and the same big-ticket fees to produce an album – but they don’t have the upside of big-ticket concert prices like the groups you see on MTV.

It shocked me yesterday when Mark Mohr, the lead vocalist for the award-winning Christian reggae group Christafari, admitted on my radio show, “God Unplugged” (www.blogtalkradio.com/god
..unplugged), that the band is at the end of its financial rope. That’s just wrong.

Mark Mohr and Christafari

When you think of Gospel music, reggae probably doesn’t jump to the top your mind. But for the last 20-plus years, trailblazer Mark Mohr’s band, Christafari, has been traversing the globe sharing the Gospel with their unique island-influenced music.

Raised in a Christian household, Mohr strayed from his faith…far away. He found himself in a world of drugs, alcohol, and a compromised moral lifestyle. He was put through chemical dependency treatment countless times, ran away and was picked up by the cops. Nothing worked... nothing that is, until he stopped fighting and relinquished control of his life to God.

He felt God impressing on his heart to start the first gospel reggae band in America. It would be a counter-cult, drug aversion ministry that used the conscious sounds of reggae to bring the lost into the Light. Now an ordained pastor, Mohr has brought Christafari’s unique brand of Gospel reggae to nearly every state and some 50 countries around the world. Mohr has been spotlighted on numerous television shows, including CNN Headline News, MTV News, TBN, BET, and The 700 Club. He’s also been featured in Billboard, CCM Magazine and The Beat. Christafari has performed at two Olympic Games and even played for the president of the United States.

Most Christian artists face challenges performing for mainstream audiences, but the pushback Christafari faces is often extreme… even deadly. Reggae fans are often Rastafarians. Rastafarianism is a religious movement, particularly among black Jamaicans, that employs the ritualistic use of marijuana, forbids the cutting of hair, and deifies Haile Selassie, who was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to
1974, as a god.

On yesterday’s show, Mark shared several examples of how the band has been targeted on their worldwide travels, but one incident was especially disturbing. “On the Reggae Sunsplash tour, the Rastafarians took issue with what I was preaching ... I took a stand against their god, Haile Selassie, and stated bluntly that he was a godly man, but not the returned Christ.

One Rastafarian artist didn’t like that too much and tried to stab me. As he lunged forward with the knife three times, I moved away with a clearly supernatural power. I know I can’t move like that! It was definitely God; there were probably angels grabbing me by the belt and physically pulling me away from my assailant.”

That just sounds like too much danger for this small-town girl, but it is a risk Mark and his band willing take to share the Gospel. “God chose me to have a ministry platform because I am not worthy to. In my own strength, I am the last person in the world that should be singing, much less pioneering the genre of Gospel reggae music. But that’s how God works – He chooses the most unlikely and undeserving messengers to proclaim His simple message…by no means do I deserve to be a voice in the reggae industry. You could find more raw talent in any 10-year-old Jamaican boy than in me. But I believe God chose me so He could receive all of the glory. And I pray that my life gives Him the glory He
deserves.”

Bottom line, friends, if you want to enjoy well-produced, high-quality inspirational music you need to support your favorite artists. Buy their albums (don’t pirate them from friends) and go to their concerts. More importantly, pray for them. It’s a battlefield out there.

~

If you’d like to hear my interview with Mark Mohr, visit my Internet radio show
GOD UNPLUGGED.  There are dozens of amazing interviews with recording artists, athletes, actors, and authors in the archives.

If you’d like to read Mark’s complete testimony, pick up a copy of my book, How Do You Know He’s Real: God Unplugged at your favorite store or online retailer, or order an autographed copy on my WEBSITE.

  1. Today's Best
  2. Top Shows
  3. Best of BTR
    1. Loading

      Afya Ibomu

      Sure, soul food’s da bomb, but without the meat? Yes, says Afya Ibomu. “I buy coconut ice cream sometimes. I also buy chips sometimes—the blue corn chips,” the author of The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy tells The Popular Vegan Radio Show host Carter Brown.

    2. Ratt Vocalist Stephen Pearcy

      This Week Ratt Vocalist Stephen Pearcy, Call's In to Talk About Fronting The Iconic Rock Band For 30 Years And His Upcoming Solo Tour And Band.

    3. BadAss Women Of Sports Edition

      Once again, "The Mad Scientist" is away, but another one of his lovely assistants, Dr. Sharona Fabulosa, takes over the lab for this special edition called "The BadAss Women of Sports".

    4. Dionne Audian

      Years from now, when critics look back on Dionne Audain’s career, they’re likely to dub her one of the greatest character actors of her generation.

    5. The Piracy of Privacy

      If you’re sick and tired of the big three (government, businesses and criminals) hacking your life, tune in and turn on to Working The Web To Win's broadcast of "The Piracy of Privacy," where you'll learn what you can do now to turn the tide.

    6. The Doctor Who Experience

      The Doctor Who Experience in Wales: Celebrate a new season and the 12th Doctor by joining Travel Brigade at The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, where the BBC films the series. We’ll tell you how to enter the Tardis as part of a fun visit to beautiful Wales.

    7. Dads Behaving Dadly

      Hogan Hilling and Al Watts are the authors of Dads Behaving DADLY: 67 Truths, Tears and Triumphs of Modern Fatherhood

    8. Science of Cool Infographics

      What is the science of Cool Infographics, is it more than numbers, pictures and colors? Randy Krum will talk with us about the online and offline benefits for businesses to use infographics.

    9. ThrillerFest Conference

      Empowered Living Radio host Tori Eldridge chats with TEN International Thriller Writers during the annual ThrillerFest conference about STAYING POSITIVE in the midst of negativity.

    10. Speaking On Sports Fantasy Football Dra

      Follow the on air Speaking On Sports Fantasy Football draft featuring a league of 14 podcasters, bloggers, and diehard fans of the NFL who will match wits and talk trash with each other as they participate in an NFL.com Fantasy League.

    11. Rickie Byars Beckwith

      Rickie Byars Beckwith is one of the 21st century’s most revered singer-songwriters whose transcendent music of unconditional love and spiritual transformation opens the heart, touches the soul, and uplifts the spirit of many throughout the world.

    12. Shelter Pets

      Amy Newmark, publisher of Chicken Soup, shares inspirational stories about the volunteers and professionals involve in animal welfare and more importantly how shelter cats and dogs make fabulous pets as they enriched the lives of their new families.

    13. How Sweet Eats Jessica Merchant

      NWP welcomes Jessica Merchant, creator of the popular blog "How Sweet Eats" and now the new cookbook "Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food" To date over 69 million people have read her blog.

    14. Mack Bates and Betty Jo Tucker

      Film critic Mack Bates and host Betty Jo Tucker review two new Susan Sarandon movies - "The Last of Robin Hood" and "The Calling." Screenwriter Scott Abramovitch will join the discussion, and director Richard Glatzer has been invited to call in.

    15. Scandalous Selena Gomez

      Selena Gomez has allegedly had topless photos leak, but the face is obscured so the debate rages as to whether it's really Justin Bieber's ex love in these sexy and shocking pictures. Hollywoodlife.com Editor in Chief Bonnie Fuller, Senior Reporter Chloe Melas and Producer Gino Orlandini break down the truth.ted cozying up to a sexy new mystery man after her split from Ju

    16. The Vapor Group

      PotStockRadio welcomes CEO Dror Svorai from The Vapor Group $VPOR to discuss the future direction of the company and the vaporizing industry as a whole. He'll also discuss the recent 10Q filed and answer questions it brought up for investors.

    1. Loading

      Rodney Perry Live

      On his show, Comedian Rodney Perry covers arts and entertainment, everything from comedy and politics to music and acting, with his signature comedic slant.

    2. Saturday Mornings With Joy Keys

      Joy Keys provides her listeners with insight to improve their lives mentally, physically, monetarily and emotionally. Past guests on the show have included Meshell Nedegeocello, Blair Underwood, in addition to an impressive list of CEOs, humanitarians and authors.

    3. Small Business Unstuck

      Host Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. This is a business radio show where he shares all the craziness of small business. It’s that craziness that actually makes it exciting, interesting and totally unpredictable.

    4. The Bottom Line Sports Show

      The Bottom Line Sports Show is hosted by former NBA stars Penny Hardaway, Charles Oakley, Mateen Cleaves. Tune in to get the inside scoop on what's happening in sports today.

    5. Hits Radio

      Hits Radio covers basketball, sports culture and entertainment with past guests including Jason Kidd, Robin Lundberg and Chris Herren.

    6. The Halli Casser-Jayne Show

      Listeners get an earful on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds. Whether it’s the current political cocktail or the latest must-read award-winning book, Halli tackles all topics and likes to stir — and sometimes shakes — things up.

    7. America's Most Haunted

      Official Internet radio show of forthcoming epic paranormal investigation book by Eric Olsen and "Haunted Housewife" Theresa Argie.

    8. World Footprints

      Award-winning World Footprints is a leading voice in socially responsible travel and lifestyle. Hosts Ian & Tonya celebrate culture and heritage and bring a unique voice to the world of travel.

    9. Football Reporters Online

      Football Reporters Online is a group of veteran football experts in the fields of coaching, scouting, talent evaluation, and writing/broadcasting/media placement. Combined, the group brings well over 100 years of expertise in sports.

    10. Small Business Roundtable

      Host John Martin interviews the nation's leading entrepreneurs and small biz experts to educate small business owners on how to be successful. Past guests have included Emeril Lagasse and Guy Kawasaki.

    11. Sylvia Global

      Sylvia Global presents global conversations pertaining to women, wealth, business, faith and philanthropy. Sylvia has interviewed an eclectic mix from CEOs and musicians to fashion designers and philanthropists including Randolph Duke and Ne-Yo.