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Journey Band Member On the Blessings of Christmas

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 attended Catholic elementary school in Chicago and always wanted to pray like his dad. In 1958, the school burned down and 92 kids and 3 nuns were lost in the fire.  It was a traumatic experience for Jonathan, then 8, 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 an upcoming band called Journey in 1980.  His faith took a back seat.  The following year, 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 1996, Journey lead singer Steve Perry came into the studio with a Bible which piqued Jonathan’s curiosity and stirred him to explore his faith once again.  In 2013, Jonathan met evangelist and pastor Paula White.  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.  

Over the years, Jonathan has been studying the Bible and Christmas.  “No one was singing songs about the stories I wanted to tell,” he says.  So he began writing.  “I wanted to take the listener through the nativity, to think about Joseph’s role in answering God’s call,” he says.  “I was just being obedient.  I felt the Lord take me to places and showed them to me in Scripture. I learned so much about Christmas, from the manger to the throne, during my research.”

Paula is continuing to minister.  “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, This is the Heart of Christmas. 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 5th best band in rock history

Latest CD: Unsung Noel, Identity Records 2017

Married to Pastor Paula White

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