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Journey's Jonathan Cain Debuts New Book


Jonathan says his dad taught him to pray at an early age.  “He was a very spiritual man,” says Jonathan.  “He loved to pray and cry out to Jesus.”  When Jonathan asked his dad why he cried, he told Jonathan because “Jesus overwhelms me.”  Jonathan always wanted to pray like his dad and attended Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago. On December 1, 1958, the school burned down and 92 kids and 3 nuns were tragically lost in the fire.  It was a traumatic experience for Jonathan, then 8, who planned on going into the priesthood.  “It was painful to lose 92 of our own,” says Jonathan.  “It pushed me away from the Lord.”  Jonathan’s dad tried to help him overcome his grief and encouraged Jonathan to focus on music.  That’s when he abandoned his desire to become a priest and began to pursue the dream of being a musician.  

At 18, Jonathan says he was numb spiritually but attended a Baptist church on the south side of Chicago. The pastor laid hands on me and said, “You can stop running.”  “That was a turning point for me,” he says but managed to keep Jesus in storage. “If I needed Him, I would take him out. I wasn’t getting fulfilled in the Word.” He continued his on-again/off-again relationship with the Lord for many years.  

He started playing in a band and in 1976 released his first solo record.  In 1979, he joined the band, The Babys, and was asked to play with a then-upcoming band called Journey in 1980.  His faith took a back seat as Jonathan joined the band and travelled the world with what later became one of the top rock bands in the history of music. In 1982, Jonathan co-wrote Journey’s biggest hit, Don’t Stop Believin’.  He says this and many of his other songs are a reflection of his relationship with God. Twice married, Jonathan raised his kids in a Lutheran church in San Francisco.  One day in the studio in 1996, Journey lead singer Steve Perry came in with a Bible which piqued Jonathan’s curiosity and stirred him to explore his faith once again.  


Jonathan’s relationship with the Lord didn’t come full circle until he met evangelist and pastor Paula White in 2013.  She sat across the aisle from him on a flight and Jonathan asked her questions about God. Paula has been the pastor of megachurch New Destiny Christian Center and has ministered to celebrities and athletes for many years. (She has also been appointed by President Trump as chair of the Evangelical Advisory Board and is Trump’s closest spiritual confidante.)  “She gave me the news that God loved me and wanted His son back,” says Jonathan.  Not long after, they began dating.  He met Paula’s spiritual mentor, Archbishop Nicolas Duncan-Williams in Ghana who baptized Jonathan.  “I asked him if he would marry Paula and me.”  In April 2015, the man who wanted to be a priest married a preacher.  Jonathan has also been able to reconcile that tragic day in 1958.  “I believe Jesus cried with us,” he says.  “I don’t believe he abandoned us during the fire, and I don’t believe God leaves us during any tragedy.”

Jonathan feels like he emerged from the ashes of Our Lady of the Angels School as a young 8 year old boy who tried to escape the pain and grief by writing songs and relying on himself. “Only Jesus can replace the despair in my heart and that is the result of His promises and grace,” he says. Paula continues to minister and sometimes he joins her on stage.  “She’s doing incredible things in Washington,” he says.  “Being married to Paula opens me up.  When I see her in ministry, it makes me want to write songs.”

Jonathan will sing the title track, Take These Ashes.For more information, please visit www.JonathanCainMusic.com          

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Member of the band, Journey, since 1980 and continues to perform to sell-out crowds

Band inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2017

Has earned numerous gold, platinum and diamond-selling records

Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Grammy nomination

Best-catalog rock song in iTunes history (Don’t Stop Believin’)

Journey was named in USA Today 2005 opinion poll as 5thbest band in rock history

Author: Don’t Stop Believin’, Zondervan 2018

Latest CD: The Songs You Leave Behind, Identity Records 2018

Married to Pastor Paula White


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