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Fortune and Fame Don't Distract Journey Keyboardist from Faith

Jonathan Cain recalls how his faith was shaken after a traumatic childhood experience, and what pushed him to rededicate his life to God at the height of fame. Read Transcript


NARRATOR: Journey keyboardist, rhythm guitarist,

and songwriter Jonathan Cain didn't

plan on being in one of the most popular bands

in rock and roll history.

Inspired by his dad's faith, he wanted to become a priest.

I would watch him pray as a boy, and what are you doing,

you know?

And why are you crying?

Those are tears for Jesus.

And so I want to pray too, Dad.

How can I get Jesus?

You know, so by the time I had my first communion,

I was right there.

I mean, me and my Jesus were like right there.

And I had the glow.

Cause he'd say, well, it's like a glow inside, Jon.

Once you get Jesus, it's a glow.

NARRATOR: But on December 1, 1958,

Jonathan's faith was shaken.

He was a third grader at Our Lady

of Angels School in Chicago when the building caught fire.

Eight-year-old Jonathan and others escaped,

but 92 children and three nuns died.

I was waiting for Jesus to stop it.

Surely there will be a miracle, you know.

But it was just devastating.

And I wanted to know why those children had to go like that?

Why, why, why, you know?

And then I said to my father, I got to go secular.

I can't do this school anymore.

Because all I saw was fire trucks and I heard screams.

And we just couldn't concentrate on that place

where that tragedy happened.

NARRATOR: To help Jonathan get his thoughts off

that horrific day, his father arranged accordion lessons.

And as he improved, his father felt

God was telling him that his son's talents would

be used in a big way.

He would tell the people, what's

your son going to do with these accordion lessons?

My son is going to be a famous songwriter

and play for 10,000 people.

And I, really, Dad?

And I received it.

No, I knew he was on to something.

I never doubted him, I just didn't know

when it was going to happen.

NARRATOR: As a teenager, Jonathan

learned piano and started playing at parties and clubs.

He also drifted further from God.

Then at 17, he went to a church service with his girlfriend.

There was an altar call.

And the pastor found me, he laid hands on me.

I melted on the floor.

They put the blanket on me, the covering.

And I cried, and it all came out.

And I realized how numb I had been, especially to my Christ.

NARRATOR: But Jonathan's faith quickly took a back row seat

as he spent the next 10 years pursuing his dream of becoming

a rock and roll star.

Then in 1980, Jonathan got his big break

when he was asked to join a band on the rise called Journey.

The following year, he co-wrote Journey's biggest hit,

"Don't Stop Believin'."

He says that and many of his other lyrics

for songs like "Faithfully" and "Open Arms"

are actually a reflection of his on again, off again

relationship with God.

You could take the song "Faithfully."

Oh, God, you stand by me.

I'm forever yours, faithfully.

It's like well, I come to you with open arms.

Nothing to hide, believe what I say.

And here I am with open arms hoping you

see what your love means to me.

That's God.

I mean, pure and simple.

NARRATOR: As Journey played to sold out

venues around the world, it seemed

Jonathan's dad had been right about God's plan for his life.

But the money, fame, and life on the road

continued to erode his faith and his relationships.

His first two marriages ended in divorce.

It's so hard.

It takes its toll on you.

And it's not reality, you know.

And you know, it pulls at you.

And you get lonely out there, and you do stuff sometimes

that you wouldn't do.

And you would choose friends that you normally

wouldn't choose.

NARRATOR: Then while on the way to their next concert,

Jonathan met pastor Paula White on the plane.

Soon, they started dating.

I said, is it possible to get that pure, innocent love

from Christ, you know.

Because it's the only way.

He's our bridge, you know, to everything, is Jesus.

NARRATOR: As the relationship grew,

Paula took Jonathan to Ghana to meet a man who had greatly

influenced her faith.

Jonathan was so moved during the visit,

that he rededicated his life to Christ

and asked to be baptized.

I remember coming out of the water like, whew.

That's it.

And I gave-- I surrendered that moment, you know.

All in, all in, God.

And it was a reawakening, you know, of that little boy,

you know.

NARRATOR: In April, 2015, Jonathan and Paula married.

Today, he still tours with Journey

at packed out arenas around the world.

He also has a new Christian album

called "What God Wants to Hear."

It was just a flowing experience

going into the studio with this music

and sharing it with my musician brothers.

And I think we made it in probably nine

days, the whole thing.

It just flew.

And I felt His wind in my sails.

And I thought, thank you.

Thank you, thank you.

I've been in a lot of album projects.

This one was supernatural.

I'm going to be signing it for some fans,

and I'm going to be talking about faith.

And if I see somebody that wants a prayer,

I'll lay hands on them, I will pray with them.

And now I have my Christ to shine.

So when I go on stage, I bring Him with me, you know.

And it's like, wow, does that ever feel good.

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