Named 2016 ‘Music Evangelist of the Year’
Johnny Rowlett is a gentleman country singer honored as “Music Evangelist of the Year” in 2016 and 2018 by the Inspirational County Music Association. He is a Nashville recording artist with four top-five singles. Two of his songs, “The Truth Is” and “Old Mustang,” hit number one on the PowerSource Nashville charts.
Rowlett also has been honored for Video of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year by the ICMA.
After balancing a recording and performing career with weekend ministries, Johnny and wife Gale decided that wasn’t enough. Five years ago, they began their own full-time and “life-long” traveling ministry, taking their music and inspirational talks wherever they were needed — churches, high schools, prisons, retirement homes, and impromptu stops and mini-concerts along the highway.
“We went on the road full-time because we realized there are so many more people to be reached,” said Rowlett. “We sold our home in Monroe, Michigan, and moved our entire lives into the tight quarters of our motor home. Though living in a motor home doesn’t come without its difficulties, it’s allowed us the freedom to go where and when God opens doors.”
They dedicated their mission to connecting people to God through song, speaking and prayer. Rowlett said he and Gale believe that Christianity is rooted in “true relationship, not religion.”
The central tenet that defines their career and ministry is giving. In addition to singing and speaking to audiences and assemblies, wherever they are, they carry with them “Gale’s Hope Bags,” giving them to any in need.
“Everywhere we went we saw those who were homeless,” said Gale. “Once in Montana on a cold night, we met a man lying on the ground outside of a Flying J truck stop. We went to multiple homeless shelters all over the country and learned how we could help. It seemed like every city we visited, God would show us people that just needed to be loved and ministered to.
“We began to save up extra soaps and shampoos from hotels we stayed in every night. We took the extra food that pastors put in our welcome baskets and we would give it to people on the street. That’s where it started.”
They fill and distribute Hope Bags everywhere they go. These 1-gallon bags contain basic necessities such as water, clean socks, granola bars, soaps and lotions. “It’s not what’s in them, but rather who’s giving them,” said Gale. “It’s our heart to have these bags be a point of contact that helps us build relationship with these people and it gives us an opportunity to pray for them and believe with them for supernatural healing and revelation of who Jesus is.”
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual Homeless Assessment Report, as of 2017 there were around 554,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night, or 0.17 percent of the population.
“It’s our passion to give and to help these people,” said Rowlett. Although Rowlett has been accorded many honors in the country music industry, he said he is most proud of being named Music Evangelist of the Year by the ICMA. “This recognition is reassurance that our life’s mission is working and changing lives,” he said.
The Town Hall Friday concert at 7 p.m., sponsored by the Idyllwild Assembly of God, is a donation event. For more information, call 951-581-0012.